Griner leads No. 2 Baylor past Rice, 95-51
WACO, Texas (AP)—Baylor cruised through its final tuneup before its early season showdown with No. 1 Connecticut.
Brittney Griner had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and seven blocks in just 23 minutes as the Lady Bears routed Rice 95-51 on Sunday.
Next up, a trip to Hartford to try and end UConn’s 79-game winning streak on Tuesday.
Rice coach Greg Williams tried everything he could to slow down Baylor, showing a variety of different defenses.
“I’m glad we got to see some different things tonight,” Mulkey said of Williams’ defensive repertoire. “I thought when he went to the 2-2-1 press, it was very good that he threw that at us. He went to a box-and-one on Melissa Jones one time. So we got to see some things tonight that you may see Tuesday, and you’re certainly going to see it throughout the year.”
Reserve guard Terran Condrey had a career-high 16 points for the Lady Bears (3-0), while sophomore forward Shanay Washington added 15 points in only nine minutes before going to the bench after tweaking a back injury. And freshman guard Makenzie Robertson, Mulkey’s daughter, contributed 12 points hitting four 3-pointers.
Jessica Goswitz led the Owls (1-2) with 12 points, and D’Frantz Smart, the smallest player on the court at 5-feet even, had 11, including a pair of first-half layups over Griner.
The Lady Bears raced to a 59-24 halftime lead behind 14 points from Condrey, whose previous career high was nine.
“We tried to take away their two best players,” said Williams. “But Condrey got in a nice rhythm and was knocking down shots. We knew they were going to get open looks, but we were playing the percentages. We’d rather have her shooting it than Griner or Jones. But she knocked them down today. That’s why they’re good.”
Condrey’s sharpshooting didn’t surprise her or her teammates.
“I was surprised that they didn’t come out on me, but I wasn’t surprised that I made the shots,” said Condrey, no stranger to making big shots after going 3-for-3 with a pair of 3-pointers in a win over Tennessee in the NCAA tournament last spring.
On Sunday, she made five straight shots from the right wing—four from behind the arc—in a four-minute span of the first half to stake the Lady Bears to a 40-16 lead.
“She nails them all the time in practice,” Jones said. “Give her that opportunity, and she’ll take advantage of it.”
After making only 8 of 30 3-pointers in their first two games, Baylor hit 8 of 17 from the arc in the first half and outrebounded Rice 37-15, including 20-6 on the offensive boards. Jones and Brooklyn Pope had 10 rebounds each as the Lady Bears finished with a 62-37 edge on the glass.
As impressive as the Lady Bears’ shooting and rebounding were, Mulkey was even happier about the play of her point guards, who between them finished with 13 assists and only two turnovers. As a team, Baylor had 12 assists and only one turnover in the first half, and finished with 23 and 8.
“Because we didn’t turn the ball over, it was a much more enjoyable game to watch,” Mulkey said. “You can live with missed shots as long as you get an opportunity.”
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