DALLAS (AP) — Brittney Griner had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and top-ranked Baylor held off a furious late charge by Oklahoma State for a 77-69 victory in the Big 12 tournament semifinals Sunday.
Oklahoma State trailed by 17 after Baylor guard Odyssey Sims converted a nifty three-point play with 15 minutes left, but the Cowgirls (21-10) cut it to 72-69 with 1:34 remaining when Tiffany Bias converted a steal into a breakaway layup.
But Jordan Madden hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Bears with 38 seconds to go before Griner blocked an Oklahoma State shot, one of her seven blocks.
Baylor (31-1), which has won 48 consecutive Big 12 regular-season and tournament games, will play in its third consecutive tournament final Monday night. The defending national champions have won 29 in a row overall since a loss to Stanford during the first week of the season.
Toni Young had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma State. Liz Donohoe added 20 points and Bias scored 19.
Sims and Brooklyn Pope each had 12 points for Baylor, which overcame a season-high 24 turnovers — 18 in the second half that helped keep the Cowgirls in the game.
With the shot clock running down early in the second half, Sims made a move and pushed the ball toward the rim. The ball went in as she was fouled, prompting Baylor coach Kim Mulkey to emphatically pump her arm to go with a leg kick.
The Lady Bears led 54-37 when Sims made the free throw.
Baylor still had a comfortable lead with 5 1/2 minutes left after Griner scored inside to make it 69-56. But the Lady Bears committed three turnovers in less than a minute to spark seven points in a row by the Cowgirls.
After Donohoe made a free throw for Oklahoma State, Kendra Suttles had a steal that led to a layup by Bias.
Griner then committed a turnover that led to a jumper by Brittney Martin. A turnover by Sims led to a pair of free throws by Young that cut it to 69-63.
Even after Griner converted a three-point play with 2:36 left to push the lead back to 72-63, Baylor had four more turnovers in a span of 1:01, including Bias’ steal and layup.
Destiny Williams added 10 points for Baylor and Sims had seven assists.
Griner had 20 points by halftime, then didn’t even get off a shot in the first 9 1/2 minutes of the second half. She didn’t score again until there was 10:19 left in the game.
Baylor jumped out to a 32-15 lead in the first 11 minutes after Williams made two free throws.
The Cowgirls then went on a 10-2 run over the next 2 1/2 minutes, leading to a Baylor timeout.
Bias banked in a 3-pointer before Griner, surrounded by three defenders, scored inside. Bias then made a basket, drew a charge against Baylor freshman Alexis Prince and made another 3-pointer. When Young scored over Griner, it was 34-25 with 6:35 left in the half.
Griner, the 6-foot-9 star who has already been an All-American twice, had 14 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots in the first 11 1/2 minutes of the game. That included a three-point play that made it 26-13.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Also Check Out: