The Times West Virginian

Sports

March 3, 2013

Griner, No. 1 Baylor women blast WVU

MORGANTOWN — There was a moment, a mini-second really in terms of how West Virginia University’s game with No. 1 Baylor was played Saturday night, when magic seemed to be happening.

It was early in the second half of a game that the defending national champions from Texas had started 14-0 and 22-3, depending upon how you wanted to look at it, but the Mountaineers were suddenly on fire and that lit up the crowd.

Oh, yes, the crowd. What a crowd. There were 13,447 fans, more than double the last men’s crowd, the largest women’s crowd ever to see a West Virginia home game, far surpassing the Feb. 16, 2008, crowd of 8,307 who came out for a game against DePaul.

True, they came not to see the Mountaineers, for the 6-8 superstar of women’s basketball, Brittney Griner, was here with her Baylor teammates and that was the draw, but if they weren’t on hand to see WVU, they were there to root for them and they suddenly had hope as senior YaYa Dunning hit a three in her final home game, Taylor Palmer stole the ball and scored and Christal Caldwell hit a jumper.

That 22-3 score had become 42-34 and the cadaver that was West Virginia’s women’s team had a heartbeat … and then Dunning was called for her fourth foul.

“When I got called for the fourth foul the wind kind of went out of us,” Dunning said.

The air went out of the place right then as Griner took control, Baylor went on a roll and by the time it mercifully ended the Bears had themselves an 80-49 decision, giving them a 28-1 record and a 17-0 mark in Big 12 play.

Griner ended the WVU run by scoring off the out of bounds play following the foul and she carried the load the rest of the way, recording the first triple-double by anyone in the Coliseum since Jerome Anderson had one against Boston University in 1975.

Griner finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

“They don’t back down,” women’s basketball’s best player said of WVU challenging her inside. “They drive. They don’t change what they do.”

In all, 14 WVU shots were blocked, which says a whole lot about why the Mountaineers finished with a shooting percentage of 22.5 percent.

But if this seemed to be the Brittney Griner show, her coach, Kim Mulkey, assured that is not the case.

“This is not the Brittney Griner show,” she said. “We have six McDonald All-Americans. They can play and they chose to come to Baylor to play together rather than to go other places and play against each other. They came to win a national championship.”

And they did that last year with a 40-0 record and had they not lost to Stanford they would be riding a 69-game winning streak as they seem headed for another.

This is a team that does a lot of things and on this night it was as much defense as offense.

“I thought that from the tip we guarded West Virginia,” Mulkey said. “They talk about what we do offensively, but they don’t say enough about what we do defensively. I tell people that I don’t know what’s worse, getting your shot blocked by Griner or having Odyssey Simms steal the ball from you.”

The defense forced that 22.5 percent shooting percentage, something that Coach Mike Carey said was “embarrassing.”

It was a disappointing way for Dunning, who played here three years after transferring from LSU, to end her home career but the crowd also made it an exciting evening for her.

“It was amazing the support we had from the students and the community,” she said.

“I told her this was not her last game,” Carey said.

WVU has one more regular season game, Tuesday at Texas, and then the Big East Tournament. If they win the Texas game they almost certainly will qualify for the NCAAs, which means Dunning actually has a lot of basketball in front of her.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Tori Postlewait front.jpg East’s Postlewait, North’s Latocha toss no-hitters

    Tori Postlewait made a deal with her great-uncle, Kenny Carpenter, before her freshman season.
    If the Bees’ pitcher tossed a no-hitter, Carpenter promised to give her $20.
    Well, it took four years, but it’s finally time for Postlewait’s great-uncle to pay up.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • East tennis splits with Polar Bears

    Fairmont Senior and East Fairmont split a pair of tennis matches Thursday, with Fairmont Senior winning the boys’ match and East Fairmont taking the girls’ competition.
    In the Bees’ 6-1 girls’ victory, Cara Laswell took second singles, 8-2. Erica Gorman won third singles, 8-1. And Carrington Reese won fourth singles, 8-3.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • University hands Huskies first loss; East edges Elkins

    The mercy rule has been a familiar part of North Marion’s softball season.
    Through the first seven games, the Huskies regularly pounded their opponents with stingy defense, sharp pitching and timely hitting. Rarely did a game go all seven innings for the previously undefeated team.

    April 17, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Pirates shut out by Reds’ Cueto, 4-0

    Johnny Cueto was on his game, and the only thing that the Pirates could do was watch.
    Cueto pitched his third career shutout against the team that beat him in the NL wild card game, and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer that led the Cincinnati Reds over the Pirates 4-0 Wednesday for their first winning series this season.

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos