No. 1 Baylor women beat Texas Southern 91-39By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Basketball Writer Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011
WACO, Texas (AP)—The focus for top-ranked Baylor wasn’t on the scoreboard, or even the opponent.
Neither was an issue for the Lady Bears in a 91-39 victory over overmatched, undersized and inexperienced Texas Southern.
“Just an opportunity to come home after a big victory and just play,” coach Kim Mulkey said. “Everybody should feel good about themselves. Everybody got to play.”
Three days after a 76-67 win at eighth-ranked Tennessee, already their third win over a Top 25 opponent this season, the Lady Bears (7-0) scored the first 12 points of the game and built a 20-point lead within 8 minutes.
Brittney Griner had 23 points and 14 rebounds for her fifth double-double despite playing only 22 minutes as Baylor stretched its home winning streak to 27 games. Odyssey Sims had 19 points, nine assists and a career-high eight steals in 24 minutes.
“Odyssey came to play, and it’s good when your point guard comes to play and you hope that it spreads to the rest of them,” Mulkey said.
The Lady Bears forced 31 turnovers that they converted into 43 points—four more than Texas Southern (1-4) scored in the whole game.
“It was speed, their athleticism. Some of it, especially in the first half, most of it was self-inflicted,” Texas Southern coach Yolanda Wells-Broughton said. “Their defense, there’s just so much pressure on the wings, they’re overplaying us and we were making freshman mistakes and youthful mistakes, passing to a spot and not to the man. It caught up with us.”
Playing their first game outside of Houston, the Lady Tigers started three freshmen. Their 15-player roster includes 10 freshmen among 13 newcomers who weren’t part of Texas Southern’s 100-43 loss at Baylor last season.
Kiara Taylor, a 5-foot-4 freshman, led Texas Southern with 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Six of Texas Southern players were listed at 5-foot-6 or shorter. The shortest Baylor player is 5-7 guard Terran Condrey.
Kimetria Hayden and Brooklyn Pope had 13 points apiece for Baylor.
It was the 30th double-double in 79 career games for Griner, the 6-foot-8 junior phenom who was a unanimous preseason AP All-America pick this season. She made eight of 14 field goals and seven of eight free throws.
The Lady Bears have won their six home games by an average margin of nearly 44 points. All have been by at least 33 points except a 94-81 win over then-No. 2 Notre Dame on Nov. 20. They have three more games before another potential 1 vs. 2 matchup at home Dec. 18 against Connecticut. They play Sunday at Minnesota.
Mulkey had her team working on several different press defenses, often with the coach uncharacteristically sitting on the bench and watching.
“You try to do what she asks us to do, without her having to ask us to do it,” Pope said. “It’s kind of like a pop quiz, preparing us for the test of when we play someone a little bit tougher.”
The best stretch for the Lady Tigers came when they had an 8-1 run over nearly 4- 1/2 minute stretch in the first half. Crystal Anyiam’s jumper cut the deficit to 27-12 before Baylor scored six points in a row in only a minute.
Aniyam had 10 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes before fouling out with 9:23 left in the game
Griner made two free throws only 21 seconds into the game before Condrey had a steal that she turned into a breakaway layup, and Sims had a steal that led to Pope’s jumper.
Texas Southern missed its first five shots before Kayla West had a steal and passed ahead to Morgan Simmons for a layup 4 1/2 minutes into the game.