Griner puts up career high 50, Lady Bears blow by K-state
Brittney Griner scored a Big 12 single-game record 50 points in her final regular-season game at Baylor - including her first dunk at home since she was a freshman - to lead the top-ranked Lady Bears to a 90-68 victory over Kansas State on Monday night.
Baylor (29-1, 18-0 Big 12) wrapped up its second consecutive undefeated conference title, becoming the first team to twice go through Big 12 play without a loss. The Lady Bears have won a record 46 consecutive Big 12 games, including tournament games, and have won 55 in a row at home.
Only four of Griner's 14 career dunks have come at the Ferrell Center, and the last had been Jan. 2, 2010, when she had two in the same game against Texas State.
Her third career dunk against K-State (14-16, 5-13) came with 16:56 left, when the 6-foot-8 two-time All-American got a pass from Kimetria Hayden, took a step around a defender along the baseline and went up for a one-handed slam that sent the record-tying crowd of 10,627 into a frenzy.
Griner made 21 of 29 field goals and eight of 10 free throws, but her 50 points didn't set a Baylor single-game record. Mary Lowry had a 54-point game for the Lady Bears in 1994, before the formation of the Big 12.
With her 3,123 career points, Griner moved into second place on the NCAA career scoring list behind Jackie Stiles, who had 3,393 points for Missouri State from 1997-2001.
Destiny Williams had 14 points for Baylor, and Odyssey Sims had 12 points. Hayden had nine points and eight assists.
Brittney Chambers had 22 points to lead five K-State players in double figures - all played at least 35 minutes with only two reserves in uniform. The injury-plagued and undersized Wildcats - their tallest player on the court was 5-11 - got 13 points from Haley Texada, 12 from Brianna Craig, 11 from Chantay Caron and 10 from Mariah White.
Kansas State hit 15 3-pointers, including four in the first 4 minutes of the second half to keep the Wildcats close despite Griner's rim-rocking highlight.
Griner's dunk put Baylor up 54-45, but Caron responded with a 3-pointer for the Wildcats and then stole the ball from Griner, leading to a layup by Texada that cut the gap to 54-50.
The Wildcats were within 63-60 when Chambers leaned in to make a tough layup with just under 12 minutes left. But they never got closer as Baylor responded with 23-2 run over the next 9 minutes that included 17 points in a row.
After Griner got her 50th point with just over 2 minutes left, Baylor called timeout. She excitedly jumped around and into arms of Hayden, and got a huge ovation as the fans chanted "Thank you seniors!"
All five Baylor seniors in uniform were in the starting lineup. They were also honored in a postgame ceremony, along with student assistant Shanay Washington, a former Lady Bears guard who didn't play again after sustaining her fifth torn anterior cruciate ligament at end of last season. It happened three times at Baylor after twice in high school.
Baylor opens the Big 12 tournament Saturday in Dallas. The Lady Bears will host an NCAA tournament regional in three weeks.
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