Baylor surpassed No. 6 Kentucky 85-51 tonight as they faced what was supposed to be the team’s first challenge of the season.
“I thought there were three keys to the game and the players listened and did pretty well,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “We wanted to eliminated their transition baskets. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t turn the basketball over, and we wanted to keep their perimeter players off the offense boards.”
Senior Brittney Griner, junior Odyssey Sims, and redshirt senior Destiny Williams led Baylor in scoring with 27, 18, and 14 points respectively. With contributions from 13 different players, the Lady Bears grabbed their 42nd consecutive game win.
“We knew they press a lot,” Griner said. “There was going to be pressure. Like coach said, I think we handled it well. Now this game is over, it’s time to focus on Stanford, remember some from the Final Four, and now it’s time to get in the film room.”
After missing her first two shots, Griner put the Lady Bears up 13-8, scoring on a layup six and half minutes into the game. In the two minutes following, she scored 10 points to bring the lead to 23-13. She went on to finish the game 11-14.
“I was just figuring it out and getting into my groove,” Griner said. “The guards did a great job of getting me the ball and helping me get into my groove.
On the defensive end, Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies, 2012 SEC Player of the Year, was only allowed 12 points on 3-18 shooting while being defended by senior Jordan Madden. In addition Kentucky guard Bria Goss, former SEC Freshman of the Year, was held to 11 points.
“Having an opportunity to play on this kind of stage really opened our eyes and really got us focused,” Goss said. “And to come out here and take a loss like we did, the way we reacted is something that only we can control. The feeling I feel now I don’t want to feel again, so it’s just going to make me work harder.”
The Lady Bears head to Hawaii to take on fourth-ranked Stanford on Friday as they open the Rainbow Wahine Classic. The game will be a rematch of last season’s national semifinal game in which Baylor won 59-47 on their road to the national championship. -- Savannah Pullin