Holding Lamar to only nine points in the second quarter, the defending champions, No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears won their first game of the season, 80-34, over the Lady Cardinals.
“Brittney Griner is the best player in the country, no question,” Lamar head coach Larry Tidwell said. “You’ve got the best point guard in Odyssey Sims. She’s just dynamite. You mix that combo with the Coach of the Year and six other McDonald’s All-Americans. There’s 40 other teams that didn’t have the answer last year.”
In the beginning of the second half, senior post Brittney Griner ran the pipe ahead of the defense and received a pass from junior point guard Odyssey Sims.
Everyone in the Ferrell Center thought she was going to throw it down, but she did a finger roll.
“I was thinking ‘Oh man, I’m fixing to dunk this,'” Griner said. “I sprinted down the court,and my legs said, ‘No.'”
Griner led the Lady Bears with 24 points in just 18 minutes, followed by Sims with 11 points, eight assists, three steals and just one turnover.
Senior guard Jordan Madden had 10 points, eight assists and four steals, senior forward Brooklyn Pope finished with eight points in just 10 minutes after committing a pair of fouls early.
“I can tell you two players that I would say complimentary things about,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “One being Brooklyn Pope. Other than the two fouls, she had to sit 18 minutes in the first half or more, so that took away a lot of her minutes. I have asked Brooklyn to do three things:offensive rebound. She started the game with one, and when you get offensive rebounds, finish. She was four-of-five today, and when you go to the free throw line, make some of them. I was pleased with Brooklyn today. Jordan Madden just stayed out there. She never got tired. She’s guarding their best player. She had about eight assists. I thought those two players stood out for us today.
Each freshman scored for Baylor.
“I feel like the freshmen did good,” Sims said. “When you’re out there with three freshmen, all you can do is teach. You can’t get mad at them. They’re freshmen. They don’t have any experience. All you can do is teach them and pat them on the back and tell them ‘good job’ or ‘we’ll get it in practice.’
Guard Niya Johnson led with 17 minutes and four points.
Post Kristina Higgins also had four points, followed by Guard Chardonae Fuqua’ with two.
The Baylor defense allowed Lamar to shoot 25 percent from the floor the enter game, 10 percent in the second half alone.
Lamar finished with a nine-to-28 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Lady Bears capitalized off the high number of turnovers with 31 points.
Even though it was a win, Mulkey was not satisfied with her team.
“I thought there was selfish basketball played out there,” Mulkey said. “I thought there was a lot of one-on-one basketball. I thought there were bad shots taken. There was no ball reversal. Those aren’t effort. That’s a mental mindset. Come Tuesday night, they better erase what happened today on how they shot the ball and did some things on the offensive end because they’ve got their hands full with a team coming in here that presses you for 40 minutes.”
Baylor hosts Kentucky in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic at 5 p.m. in the Ferrell Center. The game will be broadcast nation wide on ESPN 2.