The Baylor Lady Bears started off on the right foot today on their path to a second undefeated season and defense of their national championship with an 80-34 win over Lamar University.
“We did some good things and knocked down some shots,” Lamar head coach Larry Tidwell said. “We are not going to face anybody that is going to be this dynamic on both ends of the floor. They can do so many different things. It is incredible.”
Senior Brittney Griner led Baylor with 24 points in 18 minutes, her 81st consecutive game scoring double digits. Griner also ended the game with five rebounds and two blocks.
“[Griner] is a factor and I know the Baylor people appreciate what she does because this is once-in-a-lifetime to have a player this good,” Tidwell said. “You are looking at a person who dominates the women’s game like Will Chamberlin dominated the men’s game for so long. It is incredible.”
The Lady Bears started quickly, grabbing a 10-point lead less than four minutes in to the game thanks to a three-pointer by junior Odyssey Sims to put the team up 13-3.
“We came out kind of sluggish in the first half,” Sims said. “We have to come out and play Baylor basketball. We have to focus and just play our game.”
Sims had 11 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and three steals on the night with only one turnover.
“As you know about Baylor, Brittney Griner is the best player in the nation,” Tidwell said. “But they have the best point guard in the nation too in Odyssey Sims. Sims is just dynamic. She will pressure you on both ends of the floor, and then she runs her offense and she gave us fits all night.”
Returning from halftime, with a 40-25 lead, Griner threw up an inside layup and a short jumper to help Baylor go on a 10-0 run to open the second half.
In the last minutes of the game, Lamar had four turnovers and was held to only nine points in the entire second half.
Junior Kalis Loyd led the Lady Cardinals in scoring with 11 points. She scored only one point after halftime.
“I am not sure if we turned up the defense intensity or just fatigue set in, but we held them to fewer points in the second half; it could have been a combination of a lot of things,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “We did a lot of substituting so obviously that takes away from the continuity, but the effort is there.”
The Lady Bears’ next matchup will be against Kentucky on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. CT in Waco, Texas. The dropping of the Lady Bears’ championship banner is scheduled to happen before tipoff. -- Savannah Pullin