The Times West Virginian

Sports

January 20, 2013

Griner leads No. 1 Baylor women over WVU, 76-58

WACO, Texas — Brittney Griner had her 50th career double-double while just missing a triple-double, scoring 26 points with 15 rebounds and nine blocked shots, as top-ranked Baylor beat Big 12 newcomer West Virginia 76-58 on Saturday night.

Griner appeared to have her 10th block at one point but officials whistled West Virginia for a travel on the play. The 6-foot-8 two-time All-American didn’t play the final 4 minutes.

Odyssey Sims had 15 points and seven assists for Baylor (16-1, 6-0 Big 12), which won its record 28th consecutive regular season conference game. The Lady Bears have also won 49 games in a row at the Ferrell Center, the nation’s longest active home winning streak.

Christal Caldwell led West Virginia (11-6, 3-3) with 22 points. Taylor Palmer scored 17, and Crystal Leary had 11 rebounds.

After West Virginia got a 3-pointer from Palmer 22 seconds into the game, Baylor responded with a 20-2 run. Griner had 10 points in that streak, and Sims had eight with two three-point plays.

By the first media timeout only 5 minutes into the game, the Lady Bears had already surged ahead 15-5 and West Virginia has as many turnovers as points.

Griner, who finished 11-of-17 shooting, had 18 points and eight rebounds by halftime. Sims had 12 points at the break, when Baylor led 40-24.

With her nine blocks, Griner increased her career total to 651, 13 shy of breaking the NCAA career record.

Baylor’s home winning streak includes an 82-68 win over West Virginia in an NCAA tournament second-round game two years ago. Griner had 30 points and eight blocks in that game, even while sitting out the last 9 minutes of the first half after two fouls.

West Virginia ended Baylor’s big run with six points in a row in a span of 36 seconds, capped by Caldwell and Jess Harlee turning consecutive steals into breakaway baskets in only 15 seconds.

But Griner quickly responded with six points in a row of her own and by the next timeout with 8 minutes left in the first half, Griner already had 16 points — one more than West Virginia at the time, when Baylor led 26-15.

The Mountaineers had won three in a row since opening their first Big 12 schedule with losses against Oklahoma and Kansas.

Ayana Dunning, who was averaging 10.8 points a game for West Virginia, finished scoreless with four fouls in 23 minutes. She was 0-for-8 shooting, including five from 3-point range.

West Virginia sophomore guard Akilah Bethel was carried off the court with just more than 2 minutes to go. She grabbed her left knee after falling to the floor on a drive to the basket, though the extent of her injury wasn’t immediately known.

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