By Parmida Schahhosseini
Monday was an emotional night for the No. 1 Lady Bears as the seniors were honored at the end of their last regular season game with a tribute video on senior night. Many fans wore yellow shirts in support of the winningest seniors in school history.
“It was great playing in front of a lot fans that have been there for me since freshman year,” senior guard Kimetria Hayden said. “It was just a great night.”
Senior center Brittney Griner had a night to remember, scoring a career-high 50 points, surpassing the Big 12 record for the most points scored in a single game.
She also recorded two critical blocks for a total of 721 career blocks.
It was also fitting for Griner to record her 14th career dunk after being asked numerous times by fans and media to dunk at home.
“It means everything to just go out with a bang like that,” Griner said. “Got a dunk finally at home, scored 50. I mean there’s not a better way to go out.”
The seniors who were honored were Hayden, guard Jordan Madden, forward Destiny Williams, forward Brooklyn Pope and Griner.
Student assistant Shanay Washington and student managers Emma Jacks and Jordin Westbrook were also honored in the ceremony.
Head coach Kim Mulkey supported senior night by starting Williams so that only seniors would start. It was the first time this lineup was used this season.
“It’s one that as seniors, we will remember,” Williams said. “I don’t think it’s about the score. I think that playing with each other for the very first time since we’ve been here, all five of us play together, I think that will carry more weight.”
While it hasn’t finished its business yet, this class has cemented its legacy in Baylor history by winning four Big 12 titles, earning four trips to the NCAA Tournament, appearing in two Final Fours and winning a National Championship. Another feat accomplished by the senior class was leading the team to two consecutive undefeated league records. Baylor is the first team in Big 12 history to do so.
Hayden, Madden and Griner formed an explosive group as they went 130-14 overall and 60-8 in the Big 12 during their careers. At the Ferrell Center, the trio is 69-2 with their two losses coming in their freshman year. They have now won 55 straight home games.
Madden is having one of her best season’s offensively as she gains more confidence in her shooting, allowing her to be a dual threat player. Throughout her career, she had to defend the best players on the opposing team and is a key component in keeping teams from shooting over 50 percent from the field.
Hayden has contributed significantly with her 1,061 career points, moving her up to 26th place on Baylor’s career scoring list. She is also second in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.20.
Throughout the game the crowd chanted, “Thank you, seniors,” as the seniors continued to make play after play.
It was a memorable night not just for the seniors, but for the fans as well.