Jan. 12, 2011
Box Score | Photo Gallery | Box Score
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Another win, another milestone for No. 1 Baylor and Brittney Griner.
Neither of them came very easy.
Griner fought through a tough shooting night to score 27 points - reaching an even 1,000 for her career in just 51 games - to lead No. 1 Baylor to an 87-72 win over Texas on Wednesday night.
Griner was 9 for 24 from the field but 9 of 12 from the free-throw line and added 10 rebounds. The sophomore also blocked seven shots to give her 303 for her career, No. 2 all-time in the Big 12.
"I got a little frustrated," the 6-foot-8 sophomore said of a night that saw her miss several layups and short jumpers. "I tried to get closer to the rim and just drop it in instead of shoot it."
Griner nearly dunked as Baylor was starting to seize control in the second half, but did indeed drop in a soft shot instead.
Odyssey Sims added 23 points for Baylor (15-1, 2-0) which won its 12th in a row and snapped a two-game losing streak to the Longhorns.
"They've had our number," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "We felt like if you want to win a Big 12 championship, you have to win on the road."
Texas is just looking for any kind of win. After a tough road loss at Missouri and now losing at home to Baylor, the Longhorns (11-5) are off to an 0-2 start in the Big 12 for third time in coach Gail Goestenkors' four seasons.
"I thought we could play with them. I thought we could win," Goestenkors said.
Chassidy Fussell scored 25 points for Texas. But the nation's highest scoring team at 86 points per game shot just 39 percent on its home court and got no points from leading scorer Kathleen Nash, who came in averaging 16.
Defensively, Texas hamstrung Griner in the first half. Posted up against Texas' 6-4 center Ashley Gayle, one of the country's best shot blockers, Griner missed her first six shots and 10 of 13 in the first half.
"She's strong. She makes you work to get position," Griner said. "It was a tough night."
Ashleigh Fontenette scored 11 points as Texas raced to 19-8 lead before the Lady Bears roared back with a 16-2 run to take the lead on Griner's 3-point play. Baylor stretched the lead to nine before Texas closed to 32-30 at halftime.
Even with her struggles shooting, Griner still had 11 points in the first half and did her usual part on the defensive end with three blocks and diverted several other shots.
"Keep shooting," Mulkey told her.
Griner didn't miss her first shot of the second half, a 10-foot jumper, and forced Gayle to pick up her third foul and go to the bench two minutes into the period.
Griner never really find her shooting touch from up close, but had no problems from the free-throw line, making her first nine. Her putback basket, when Gayle picked up her fourth foul, put Baylor up 48-39 with 14 minutes left. Griner nearly dunked two minutes later but settled for drop-in basket.
"That hurt us," Goestenkors said. "We didn't have that size on Brittney and more and she just turned and scored on us a couple of times."
The Longhorns gave Griner few easy shots, but all the attention they paid to her left Sims free to drive to the basket or pull up for open jumpers.
Texas kept the game within reach deep into the second half before Griner made a short hook over Kristen Nash and Melissa Jones' 3-point play put the Lady Bears in firm control at 66-54.
"We withstood the storm and hung in there," Mulkey said. "Some of those shots we were missing early starting going in there."
-Attendance was 6,517, the largest home crowd of the season for UT.
-Texas recorded a season-low eight turnovers.
- Posted her 14th double-digit scoring effort of the season with career-high 25 points (5-of-13 FG, 1-of-2 3FG, 9-of-10 FT)
- Posted back-to-back 20+scoring efforts for the second time this season
- Scored 10 or more points for the 14th time of her career
- Scored 20 or more points for the seventh time of the season
- Has recorded double-figures in all but one game played this season
- Led the Longhorns in scoring for the fifth time of her career
- Connected on a career-high 9-of-10 from the free throw line
-Posted double-digits for the third-straight game with 13 points (5-of-13 FG, 1-of-2 3FG, 2-of-2 FT)
-Scored 11 of the Horns first 17 points over the first eight minutes of the game
-Scored 10 or more points for the 37th time of her career
-Posted a career-high two blocks
-Recorded double-digit scoring for the 11th time this season with 17 points (7-of-13 FG, 1-of-3 3FG, 2-of-5 FT)
-Scored 10 or more points for the 17th time of her career
-Led the Longhorns in scoring for the third time this season ... also the third time in the last five games.
HEAD COACH Gail Goestenkors
Opening statement: Congratulations to Baylor. I thought they played a really good game and made some good adjustments. I'm very proud of how hard we played as a team as well. I thought it was probably a really good game to watch when you consider they only had seven turnovers and we only had eight turnovers. I thought it was really good women's basketball. I'm obviously disappointed with the way things ended, the last couple of possessions in particular. Overall, I feel like we saw some good things and some things we know we can do better and learn and grow from.
On the difference between the beginning and end of the game: Having Ashley Gayle in foul trouble hurt us. We just didn't have that size on Brittney [Griner] anymore and she just turned and scored a couple of times. So I think it really hurt us to have AG in foul trouble. Then they just made big plays. I told the team we played good defense and then at the end of the shot clock we would break down a little bit and Odyssey [Sims] would drive and we'd foul. They hit their free throws down the stretch. Obviously they had a lot of and-ones, so we put them on the free throw line way too much. Defense was good for about twenty seconds and then we'd break down those last ten seconds either allowing an offensive rebound or a foul. Melissa Jones in particular killed us on the offensive glass.
JUNIOR GUARD Ashleigh Fontenette
On how Baylor's defense changed against her in the second half: I think they put somebody on me to deny me the ball and I kind of fell into their trap. I quit being aggressive and quit trying to go get the ball, so it was a combination of both. I quit attacking and they denied me the ball.
JUNIOR FORWARD Ashley Gayle
On the team's defensive strategy: I think being able to play against [Griner] last year really helped. I think we had a really good strategy going in. We've been working on how we were going to play her for a few days now, and not only her but how we were going to play the guards. We knew they were going to be looking high-low and trying to push it inside, so we've been working on it a lot. I think it's helped, but next time we'll be ready. This is why I came here, to play the number one team in the nation and to play somebody that's a great player [like Griner].
HEAD COACH KIM MULKEY
On the game: Keep shooting, keep going in there. They were great looks, really layups. I thought Texas was to be complimented. They came out and played very hard and aggressive which you expected. They hit some really good shots early and we withstood the storm and hung in there and some of those shots we were missing early we started making. I thought it was just one of those nights when you can't explain, it but it's part of basketball.
On the team shooting better in the second half: We didn't win here last year. In fact, I think our record against these guys the last couple of years is like 2-5. They've had our number and I just felt like if you want to win a Big 12 Championship, you're going to have to win on the road. This is our second road trip for us this year. It scares you a little bit as a coach because you have that number one in front of your name but you also look out there and you only have one senior that plays. You have a bunch of sophomores and freshman and it makes you nervous to go on the road.
P Brittney Griner
On playing better offensively in the second half: Just try to get closer to the rim, get my hand above the rim and just drop it in instead of trying to shoot it and use the backboard.
On playing against Texas P Ashley Gayle: She's a good player. She's strong and she makes you work to get position so it was a tough night tonight. Every possession she's making you work.
G Melissa Jones
On getting rebounds: I was just trying to get us an extra shot whenever we could get the chance and whatever it took because it was a very tough ballgame. Any chance you get to get another possession and get another 30 seconds on your side, I'm going to try to do it.
G Odyssey Sims
On worrying after getting down early: We just had to keep playing and keep our composure. Like coach said, it started in practice the day before and we had a great practice so it showed. We just have to prepare better and go hard in practice every day.