Griner sets blocks mark, No. 2 Baylor wins big
WACO, Texas (AP)—Brittney Griner is already the career blocks leader for second-ranked Baylor—after playing only 41 games.
Griner scored 27 points and the 6-foot-8 sophomore had three blocks to take over the school’s career record as the Lady Bears overwhelmed Texas Southern 100-43 on Tuesday night.
“I always say that records are made to be broken,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “I’m not sure Brittney’s blocked-shot record at Baylor will ever be broken. I would have to look when her career’s over if it will be broken on a national scale.”
Griner broke the school record held by Danielle Wilson, who needed 92 games over three seasons to get 249 blocks.
Wilson’s mark at Baylor got tied when Griner swatted a jumper by Gabrielle Rosiji in the opening minute of the game. Griner had the record to herself when she rejected Nadosha Strickland’s layup attempt 5 minutes after halftime, then added another block only seconds later before coming out of the game for good.
During a timeout midway through the second half, Mulkey presented Griner with a ceremonial game ball in recognition of the blocked shots record.
“This one’s a little special to me because that’s my favorite thing, blocking shots,” said Griner, who also had four dunks last season. “That one is kind of special. I think I’m going to keep this ball in my house this time.”
Griner said other commemorative game balls she has received are at her father’s house.
Melissa Jones added 14 points and Odyssey Sims had 11 for Baylor (5-1), which had a 25-6 lead 10 minutes into the game and added on from there.
Terran Condrey had 10 points for the Lady Bears, including a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to put them in triple digits for the first time in 30 games.
Jasmine Cannon had 10 points for Texas Southern (0-3).
The Lady Bears, who played for the first time since starting guard Shanay Washington tore her ACL in practice on Saturday, have won their five home games by an average margin of 42 points. Their only loss was 65-64 at top-ranked Connecticut last week.
Griner played only 20 minutes, the equivalent of one half. She made 10 of 14 field goals and all seven of her free throws while grabbing seven rebounds in her second consecutive game with at least 27 points.
Griner, a preseason AP All-American, set an NCAA single-season record with 223 blocks last season. She is already fourth on the Big 12 career list, trailing only Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris (446), Texas Tech’s Cisti Greenwalt (300) and Kansas State’s Marlies Gipson (257).
“(Griner) just has a knack for timing it just right and sometimes we’re on her because we think she ought to block more,” Mulkey said. “When you’re 6-8 and you have such a long wingspan, it’s just something that she does naturally. I can assure you it’s not anything that we’ve taught her or anything that we even work on. She just knows how to block shots.”