No. 1 Baylor women beat UT for outright Big 12

By Stephen Hawkins

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21 2012 8:06 p.m. MST

Baylor's Brittney Griner (42) reaches for a rebound between Texas' Yvonne Anderson, left, and Anne Marie Hartung during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Waco, Texas.

Rod Aydelotte, Associated Press

WACO, Texas — Brittney Griner had 18 points with 10 rebounds and top-ranked Baylor claimed the outright Big 12 title with an 80-59 victory over Texas on Tuesday night.

Griner's 40th career double-double came in her 100th game at Baylor.

After a pregame ceremony when the 6-foot-8 junior phenom was recognized for becoming Baylor's fourth 2,000-point career scorer earlier this season, Griner put the Lady Bears ahead to stay with layup only 31 seconds into the game.

The Lady Bears (28-0, 15-0 Big 12) had clinched a share of the title with a win over Texas Tech on Saturday night, when they cut down the nets and got championship T-shirts in a full-scale celebration for their second consecutive Big 12 regular season title, and third overall.

After beating Texas (15-12, 5-10) to ensure they wouldn't have to share the title, the reaction was much more subdued.

Baylor players had the customary postgame handshake with the opposing team, and then stood in front of the band for the usual playing of the alma mater. They slapped hands with a few fans lining the edge of the court, but nothing like the raucous celebration three nights earlier.

The Ferrell Center went silent with 16 seconds left when Shanay Washington crumbled to the floor grabbing the bulky brace protecting her surgically repaired left knee.

Washington, who returned only a month ago after playing only five games last season, could be heard crying as trainers tended to her. She remained down for several minutes before getting up and walking gingerly off the court.

Coach Kim Mulkey said after the game that Washington, who has had four ACL surgeries in the past, heard a pop when she came down on her knee and that the sophomore guard thought she had injured her ACL again.

Kimetria Hayden had 17 points in 21 minutes for the Lady Bears, and Brooklyn Pope had 13 points. Destiny Williams had 11 points and 10 rebounds for her 11th double-double in 52 career games.

Yvonne Anderson had 16 points to lead Texas. Chassidy Fussell had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Baylor extended its school record with its 39th consecutive home victory, matching fifth-ranked Miami for the second-longest active streak. Second-ranked Stanford has won 76 in a row at home.

The last home loss for the Lady Bears was in March 2010 against Texas.

With their poor shooting, the Longhorns never had a chance to repeat that feat.

Baylor jumped out to a 15-3 lead in the first 7 minutes.

The only points for the Longhorns during that stretch came on Fussell's 3-pointer from the right wing 2½ minutes into the game. They then missed eight shots in a row over the next 5 minutes before Fussell finally made a jumper.

After Pope's strong move inside for a layup with 10:35 left in the first half put the Lady Bears up 18-7, they maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game.

Three Texas starters were scoreless at halftime, when the Longhorns trailed 40-20 and were shooting only 21 percent (8 of 39). They finished shooting 34 percent (25 of 73).

Baylor built as much as a 28-point lead in the second half, when Griner played only sparingly before Mulkey had several little-used reserve players on the court together.

Baylor plays its next two games on the road, at Kansas and Texas A&M, before its regular season finale March 3 at home against Iowa State.

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