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Step-by-step Look at Baylor Bears NCAA National Championship Win: Fan’s Take
Just one team stood in the way of the Baylor Bears quest for a 40-0 record and the 2012 National Championship. The matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish pitted the best player in the nation, Brittney Griner, against one of the top three players in the nation, Skylar Diggins. As the game progressed, what were the key plays of the game?
8:45 p.m. ET: Was there any doubt that Griner would win the opening tip? Destiny Williams gets a leaner to fall, 2-0 Baylor.
8:48 p.m. ET: Great offensive rebound by Devereaux Peters, connects on 1-2 free throws, 6-5 Baylor.
8:49 p.m. ET: Peters with a blocking foul, her second, and heads to bench, 6-5 Baylor.
8:57 p.m. ET: Brittany Mallory suffers first Notre Dame turnover, 10-9 Baylor.
8:58 p.m. ET: Time out by Notre Dame, 12-9 Baylor.
9:00 p.m. ET: Griner gets put-back lay-up following third offensive rebound of possession, 14-9 Baylor.
9:01 p.m. ET: Following Diggins air ball, Baylor marches down and gets layup, 16-9 Baylor.
9:06 p.m. ET: After a defensive rebound, Baylor moved the ball down to Odyssey Sims, who makes nice move at basket for a lay-up, 18-10 Baylor.
9:10 p.m. ET: Diggins nails three-pointer to cut Baylor's lead to 20-15.
9:11 p.m. ET: Sims jumps in front of lazy pass from Natalie Novosel and reaches free throw line and hits both shots, 24-15 Baylor. Diggins to bench with second foul.
9:13 p.m. ET: Kimetria Hayden nails long three to extend Baylor lead to 27-15.
9:16 p.m. ET: After timeout, Peters and Diggins return to game despite foul trouble.
9:18 p.m. ET: Diggins with beautiful shot on the backboard, Baylor 29-17.
9:19 p.m. ET: Great ball movement leads to another easy Irish score, 29-21 Baylor.
9:20 p.m. ET: Peters suffers third foul, goes to bench again, 29-21 Baylor.
9:23 p.m. ET: Novosel draws foul from Griner, connects on both free throws, 31-25 Baylor.
9:30 p.m. ET: Novosel finds Mallory open from deep, 33-28 Baylor.
HALFTIME, 34-28 Baylor
At the end of the first half, the Fighting Irish trailed by six, but considering how much foul trouble they found themselves in, they are luck it is just six points. Add in Novosel's inability to connect on a field goal in the first half and the Fighting Irish may have still had a chance to win.
9:50 p.m. ET: Kayla McBride opens second half with basket, 34-30.
9:52 p.m. ET: Diggins steps back and nails a three, 38-33 Baylor.
9:53 p.m. ET: After rebounding a blocked shot, Peters gets a second chance basket, 40-35 Baylor.
9:54 p.m. ET: Novosel misses both free throw shots, 40-35 Baylor.
9:56 p.m. ET: Novosel misses contested lay-up, draws foul, 42-37 Baylor. Television timeout.
9:59 p.m. ET: Novosel connects with both free throws, 42-39 Baylor.
9:59 p.m. ET: Peters called for fourth foul, back to the bench.
10:00 p.m. ET: Sims nails three-pointer, 45-39 Baylor.
10:03 p.m. ET: After a possible no-call on an up-and-down, Hayden nails an open three as the shot clock was funning down, 50-41 Baylor.
10:05 p.m. ET: Diggins finds Natalie Achonwa for an open lay-up, plus one. She hits free throw, 54-48 Baylor.
10:10 p.m. ET: Griner hits unstoppable bank shot in the paint, 58-48 Baylor.
10:14 p.m. ET: Griner gets another shot and finally gets the "and one" call. She connects on free throw attempt, 61-48 Baylor.
10:17 p.m. ET: Griner limped to sidelines. Only chance Notre Dame has to come back is with Griner on the bench.
10:20 p.m. ET: Following commercial break, Griner returns and assists Sims on lay-up, 66-50 Baylor.
1023 p.m. ET: Sims connects on free throws, lead extends to 19, 69-50.
10:25 p.m. ET: Mallory falls hard directly on shoulder, tripping over Griner's legs, 73-50 Baylor.
10:33 p.m. ET: Kaila Turner hits open three, cuts lead to 19, 75-56.
10:33 p.m. ET: Griner scores 26th point with easy basket, 77-56.
10:34 p.m. ET: Sims fouls out with 19 points and four assists.
10:37 p.m. ET: Baylor clears bench to allow starters to hear applause from fans.
10:40 p.m. ET: Baylor wins, 80-61.
With the victory, the Bears completed the record-breaking 40-0 season. Griner led the team in the title game, despite playing poorly in the National Semifinals. The Irish could struggle next season with Mallory, Peters and Novosel graduating, but Diggins will return as they will look to bounce back from losing two straight National Championships.
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