By Krista Pirtle
Junior Brittney Griner has conquered the double team, triple team and sometimes even the quadruple team. In the semifinal round of the Big 12 Tournament, No. 5 seed Kansas State often threw one defender on Griner, and she broke the Big 12 Tournament single game scoring record.
In Baylor’s 86-65 victory, Griner set a career high with 45 points, shooting 67 percent from the floor.
“I’m happy I got it,” Griner said. “It would have been sweeter if it was 45 blocks.”
Griner also had 10 rebounds, seven blocks, four assists and no turnovers.
“She [Griner] catches the ball, she turns, she looks to see the options she has,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “She keeps it above her head and she makes sure when she can’t score it, [she’s] going to find a teammate.”
Junior Destiny Williams also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 14 boards.
“Destiny should have been First-Team All-Conference,” Mulkey said. “How do you average a double-double in this league and you play with the greatest player in the country and not be rewarded?”
Offensively the Lady Bears were unselfish, dishing out 26 assists, led by juniors Kimetria “Nae Nae” Hayden with eight, a career high, and Jordan Madden with seven.
“The guards did a great job of passing [Griner] the ball,” Williams said. “So as long as B.G. finishes, the guards should be satisfied with the assists.”
Baylor only made two shots from downtown, the first by sophomore Makenzie Robertson with 5:52 to play. Hayden would also hit one late in the game from the top of the key.
Kansas State, however, hit nine threes on the afternoon.
The Lady Bears didn’t really need the long range shots, owning the paint with 48 points to the Wildcats’ 18.
The game was in close range for the Wildcats due to a trio of early triples. But after the 10:45 mark in the opening half, Kansas State only scored two buckets.
“It’s our defense,” Griner said. “And we play hard. And that’s just how it turns out. It’s nothing in particular. We play hard and we defend. It works.”
On the other hand, the Lady Bears were fueled by Griner’s 23 first half points, shooting 63 percent from the floor.
Senior Terran Condrey brought a spark off the bench with four points and a pair of offensive boards.
In the second half it took Griner all of 14 seconds to put the ball in the hoop.
Baylor only outscored Kansas State in the second half by one, but the game was well in hand after the first 20 minutes.
Griner went up for a dunk in the second half but was fouled.
“I thought I was Blake Griffin,” Griner said. “I was trying to throw it in there. Like I said, I tried to throw it in, it hit rim, came out. But definitely, something just sparked, I’m going up no matter what, and I went up.”
The Lady Bears will face Texas A&M for the tournament championship at 11 a.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on FSN.