By Parmida Schahhosseini
Griner finishes with 22 points, eight rebounds, six blocks as No. 1 Baylor wins 66-51 over Iowa State
Senior center Brittney Griner steals the ball, runs down the court and uses two hands to slam the ball into the basket for her 11th career dunk as the No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears defeat No. 24 Iowa State 66-51 Wednesday at Ames, Iowa. The Lady Bears are now 7-0 in the Big 12 and 17-1 overall.
Griner led the team with 22 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. She is seven blocks away from an NCAA record and is 18 points away from a Big 12 scoring record. Junior guard Odyssey Sims had 12 points, four assists and three rebounds. Senior forward Brooklyn Pope also added eight points and seven rebounds off the bench.
The game began with Griner making a 2-point jumper assisted by senior guard Kimetria Hayden. Iowa State’s Anna Prins responded with a 3-point shot that got the crowd roaring. Hayden answered with a 2-point jumper, but Iowa State continued to pile on outside shots. The game seemed to be going Iowa State’s way, but Baylor responded with a Griner two-handed dunk. This was the start of a 17-0 run that left Iowa State scoreless for more than 11 minutes.
With 1:17 left in the half, Iowa State’s Nikky Moody hit two free throws to restart the Cyclone offense. Iowa State hit two jumpers to go into halftime with a little momentum.
With two seconds left, head coach Kim Mulkey called a timeout to draw up a play.
Hayden inbounded the ball to Griner.
She then passed to Sims who made a 3-point jumper as time expired.
In the second half, Iowa State continued to fight, chipping away at the lead as their offense got going. Baylor was having a little bit of trouble hitting foul shots in the second half after making all of them in the first half.
Iowa State kept playing physical ball and went on a 6-0 run. Baylor had a 3-point play as Griner got an offensive rebound, put it in and got fouled.
With just under seven minutes left, Griner got her fourth foul and took a seat on the bench. However, freshman guard Alexis Prince took on a scoring role, hitting three 3-point jumpers.
In the final two minutes, Iowa State went on a 9-0 run, but it wasn’t enough. Baylor went on to win the game.
“Its disappointing,” head coach Kim Mulkey said. “I don’t care what the score is and at some point you need to be held accountable.”
Baylor’s tough man-to-man defense was the reason for Iowa State’s struggles early in the game. Iowa State had a hard time getting open looks at the basket.
Baylor also appeared to be faster than Iowa State, which allowed many fast break shots.
The Bears also kept their opponents under 50 percent shooting.
“We picked it up a little bit in the second half and that show got us going,” Sims said. “That one play gave us a little bit of momentum as we went in.”
Baylor also had multiple steals during Iowa State’s scoring drought.
The No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears put their streak of 49 consecutive home wins on the line as they face No. 20 Oklahoma State at 11 a.m. on Saturday.