By Krista Pirtle
The No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears proved that there is more to their team besides a 6-foot-8-inch post as they defeated No. 22 UCLA 83-50 to advance to the final round of the preseason WNIT.
The first half was shaky for Baylor, though they led UCLA 30-23.
“Brittney [Griner] is going to get denied the ball,” sophomore guard Odyssey Sims said. “We just got a little rattled. We were just too excited as we started off slow. We need to focus and play our basketball.”
The Lady Bears scored 22 points off the bench, led by sophomore guard Kimetria Hayden with 10.
In the paint, Baylor makes teams pay for doubling junior center Brittney Griner, who scored 18, as junior Destiny Williams scored 16.
“Me personally, I felt like I had to be more aggressive,” Griner said. “When one person is doing it, then the whole team will feed off and we’ll all be aggressive.”
Both Griner and Williams recorded double-doubles.
On the evening, Baylor recorded 26 points off turnovers and 48 points in the paint.
“Defense can be special for you,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “You’ve got speed and quickness on the perimeter. You’ve got size inside.”
Baylor has not allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent in 177 straight games, dating back to March 25, 2006, against Maryland.
Offensively, the Lady Bears pulled down 20 rebounds and totaled 52 rebounds on the evening.
Griner led with 14 rebounds, followed by Williams with 10.
The Bears shot 32 free throws in the second half, as opposed to only four in the first.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, the Lady Bears will be back in the Ferrell Center to take on No. 2 Notre Dame in the preseason WNIT final.