Griner scores 32 as No. 1 Baylor women beat Texas

No. 42 post Brittney Griner, right, pulls down a rebound against Texas No. 3 forward Nneka Enemkpali and No. 22 post Ashley Gale during the second half of the game Sunday, Jan. 15, in Austin. Baylor won, 77-59.
Michael Thomas | Associated Press

By Jim Vertuno
Associated Press Sports Writer

AUSTIN — Brittney Griner turned in another dominant performance, tying her season high with 32 points to go with 13 rebounds as No. 1 Baylor stayed unbeaten Sunday with an easy 77-59 win over Texas.

Griner made 12 of her first 14 shots and Baylor (17-0, 4-0 Big 12) led by 20 by halftime. Baylor used an early 19-0 run to blow the game open.

Destiny Williams added 21 points for the Lady Bears, who have allowed only two teams, Tennessee and Connecticut, to play them within 10 points this season.

Chassidy Fussell scored 20 points to lead Texas (11-5, 1-3) which stayed in the bottom third of the conference with the loss.

Griner could have approached her career-high 40 points, but started giving up shots with passes to teammates in the second half with the game in hand. She dominated the first half, scoring 21 — one point below her season average — as Baylor built a 49-29 lead by halftime.

Griner made 9 of 11 shots in the first half and Williams pumped in 15 points. The performance was similar to Griner’s effort on Texas’ homecourt last year, when she outscored the Longhorns 23-22 in a lopsided Baylor victory.

Texas had upset No. 12 Texas A&M on the road earlier in the week, but the Longhorns’ best chance of containing Griner was sitting on the bench with a medical boot on her right leg. Forward Cokie Reed, who gives Texas its strongest muscle under the basket, strained the leg in practice Saturday and school officials announced about an hour before the game she would not play.

That left senior post Ashley Gayle and freshman Nneka Enemkapali to deal with Griner. But Gayle picked up three fouls in the first 13 minutes and Enemkapali looked nervous, failing to even hit the rim when a defensive switch left her with an uncontested layup in the early going.

Griner scored 10 in the 19-0 run. The Longhorns pulled back within 11 when Fussell made consecutive 3-pointers before Baylor closed the first half with a 9-1 burst.

Gayle, who scored 17 in Texas’ win over Texas A&M, picked up her fourth foul just 51 seconds in to the second half. She finished with 12 points and was never a factor as Griner and Baylor never let the Longhorns rally.

Baylor scored 58 points in the paint and held Texas to just 33 percent shooting.