No. 1 Baylor women 67-39 over No. 25 Iowa StateBy STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Basketball Writer Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013
WACO, Texas (AP)—Brittney Griner and top-ranked Baylor seem to be just getting started this season in what is already a dominating Big 12 run.
Back in the No. 1 spot nationally, Griner scored 23 points and the Lady Bears led throughout in a 67-39 win over 25th-ranked Iowa State on Wednesday night for their Big 12-record 25th consecutive conference victory.
“We all go into every game and think you’re going to win, and you make a plan and whatever,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “But I think what realistically what most coaches are looking at, it’s a 16-game conference schedule because Baylor is going to beat everybody twice.”
The Lady Bears (13-1, 3-0 Big 12), which was 18-0 in the league last season, had matched Oklahoma’s 24-game conference winning streak set from March 2005-January 2007. Baylor has also won 48 games in a row overall at home, the longest active winning streak.
Griner scored the game’s first five points and already had 11 as Baylor jumped out to a 16-3 lead in just over 8 minutes.
Kimetria Hayden added 10 points and 10 assists for Baylor, while Brooklyn Pope and Destiny Williams both had 10 points. Williams also grabbed nine rebounds.
Baylor outscored Iowa State 50-0 in the paint, and the Cyclones also didn’t have any second-chance points or score on any fastbreaks.
“Wow! I really don’t know what to say about it, but we were busting it out there, though,” Griner said.
“The first thing that stood out was 50 points in the paint to zero,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a stat like that.”
Nikki Moody had 11 points for Iowa State (11-2, 2-1), which had won its first two Big 12 games for the first time in eight seasons. The Cyclones had 15 of their 24 turnovers by halftime.
Hallie Christofferson and Chelsea Poppens, their top scorers coming into the game, combined for only 2 points. That was on two free throws by Poppens as they went a combined 0-for-7 shooting.
The Cyclones did hit nine 3-pointers (out of 25 attempts).
“I just thought that defensively, you knew they were going to shoot a lot of 3s,” Mulkey said. “I don’t like that they made nine. But when you consider you’re 50-0 in the paint, the points had to come from somewhere.”
Iowa State made its first three shots of the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers by Moody. But the Cyclones were only within 42-27 when Nicole Blaskowsky made a jumper with her foot on the 3-point line, and Baylor then scored 17 consecutive points over the next 9 minutes.
In the final minute of the first half, Odyssey Sims stole the ball from Moody, who with a foul knocked Baylor’s preseason All-American point guard to the ground.
Sims had made all 27 of her free throws this season—and 38 in a row going back to last season—before missing the front end of the bonus. But she almost immediately stole the ball from Chelsea Poppins and drove for a layup and a 35-19 halftime lead.
The Cyclones had held their first 12 opponents to only 48 points a game and allowed them to shoot only 30 percent.
None of those were like Baylor.
“I thought for a long time trying to figure out something brilliant to say, and I don’t know if there’s anything new that can be said that you guys haven’t written for four years,” Fennelly said. “Baylor does it the right way in everything that they do. Brittney is Brittney. Odyssey Sims is a great on-ball defender.”
The Lady Bears have won their Big 12 games this season by an average margin of more than 33 points, though this was the closest. They won by 39 points over TCU before beating then-No. 13 Oklahoma State by 34.
Griner made 10 of 20 shots with four rebounds and three blocked shots.
Sims finished with seven points after shooting 3-of-8 from the field and 1-of-4 from the free throw line, but she had six assists, four steals, four rebounds and only one turnover in her 32 minutes.
After Griner made two inside baskets, plus a free throw after being fouled on the second, in the first 1:22 of the game, Moody hit a 3-pointer for a 5-3 score.
The Cyclones then missed six shots in a row and had four turnovers before finally scoring again 7 minutes later, when a jumper by Moody made it 16-5 midway through the first half.
Pope’s putback of a miss by Griner with 5:51 left in the first half put the Lady Bears up 26-11.
Pope then reached around Moody for a steal, and then got the ball back from Sims for a breakaway layup. Griner, who then had four points more than Iowa State’s entire team, stood back at her offensive end and watched with both her arms thrust in the air.
“Yeah, y’all don’t understand, I’m really lazy,” Griner said with a smile. “And when I can stand in the backcourt and watch (Sims) and Destiny and Brook get those steals and lay them up, I’m just like, `Yes!”’