Claremore Daily Progress

Breaking News

Sports

March 27, 2013

NCAA WOMEN'S BB TOURNEY: Baylor having fun chasing 2nd title in row

WACO, Texas — Brittney Griner stopped at the edge of the podium, pulled out her iPhone and made a goofy face.

Before taking a self-portrait in front of the NCAA tournament backdrop after her final home game for Baylor, when she became the first woman with three dunks in a game, the 6-foot-8 Griner had teammates Brooklyn Pope and Odyssey Sims join her with silly grins of their own.

When coach Kim Mulkey turned and saw what was going on behind her, she started laughing.

These Lady Bears are having fun and making the most of the time they have left together - less than two weeks now and only four wins away from a second consecutive national championship.

Baylor (34-1), in the NCAA round of 16 for the fourth year in a row, plays Louisville (26-8) on Sunday night in Oklahoma City.

Griner had a fitting farewell at the Ferrell Center with 33 points, a career-high 22 rebounds and that trio of impressive dunks. The last two slams came after a tweet at halftime of the 85-47 victory over Florida State on Tuesday night.

In describing how her team is playing right now, Mulkey said: `It's scary good. And it's not just Brittney.''

But Griner, one of five Lady Bears seniors, does create the most impressive highlights.

For her first dunk in the home finale, Griner caught a pass on the move from freshman Niya Johnson, took one more step without a dribble and went up for a one-handed slam. A tweet posted during halftime from Griner's account read: "Need two more dunks on home court for the best crowd ever!''

And she delivered with two slams in a 79-second span of the second half not long before she came out of the game for good.

Griner got another pass from Johnson, waited for a defender to move past and for a one-handed dunk. Soon after that, Griner grabbed the rebound of a missed 3-pointer while surrounded by three Seminoles and had a reverse slam.

After winning the Big 12 tournament championship with a 28-point victory over Kansas State, the Lady Bears opened the NCAA tourney with an 82-40 win over Prairie View. The NCAA's top overall seed then scored the game's first 11 points and had a 31-point halftime lead against Florida State on way to its 33rd consecutive victory overall and 57th in a row at home.

"If you look at our numbers across the board, it's not just Brittney's numbers,'' Mulkey said. "If you look at Odyssey's numbers, Destiny Williams' field goal percentage, our free throw percentage.''

While Griner has averaged 33 points and 11 1/2 rebounds the past six games, Williams has made two-thirds of her field goal attempts (38 of 58) in the last eight games, even with a 2-for-6 night against the Seminoles. Sims has 41 assists with only 13 turnovers (seven coming in one game) in the same seven-game span when the Lady Bears are shooting 57 percent from the field as a team.

Baylor is 72-2 at home since the arrival of the senior trio of Griner, Kimetria Hayden and Jordan Madden. Griner played in only one of those losses, missing the regular season finale of her freshman season, a loss to Texas.

The Lady Bears have won every home game the past three seasons since point guard Sims arrived the same year that transfers Destiny Williams and Pope, the other current seniors, were able to start playing for the team. Sims can extend the home winning streak next season, but Griner and the other Lady Bears seniors will end their careers on the road - preferably by lifting another national championship trophy in New Orleans on April 9.

The last time Baylor didn't make it past the NCAA round of 16 was 2009, before any of the current players, when Louisville won 56-39 in a third-round game. Now Baylor gets Louisville again.

In the other game at Oklahoma City on Sunday, Oklahoma plays Tennessee. Baylor has won six in a row against the Big 12 rival Sooners and last season beat the Lady Vols in another NCAA regional.

Mulkey said her players don't feel any pressure in trying to repeat as national champs.

"Getting another (national title) would be icing on the cake,'' Mulkey said. "If you don't win, would you be disappointed? Absolutely, we would be disappointed. But it won't be because of pressure to do it again.

"Their personality, they don't engage in pressure very much,'' she said. "It's go play, let's go play. We know we're good.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • VYPE Oklahoma Football Preview magazine available Thursday

    The VYPE Oklahoma High School/College football preview magazine will be available on Thursday across Rogers County.

    July 22, 2014

  • OUTDOORS: Abu Garcia Revo Beast wins Best Freshwater Reel Award

    The Abu Garcia Revo Beast has been awarded the Best Freshwater Reel Award at the 2014 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. The new reel tests the limits of what is possible for a baitcast reel.

    July 22, 2014

  • AP Source: Cavs set on signing Wiggins

    Andrew Wiggins will sign his rookie contract with the Cavaliers. It's still not clear if he'll play for them.

    A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cavs will sign the No. 1 overall pick to his deal, an agreement that would prevent any potential trade involving the small forward from being completed for 30 days.

    July 22, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Drillers rout Cardinals in series opener

    The Tulsa Drillers began their series in Spingfield in ideal fashion with a 7-1 win over the Cardinals Monday night.
     
    Taylor Featherston's monster night combined with yet another masterful start from Carlos Hernandez to produce the Tulsa victory.

    July 22, 2014

  • OSU Football Fan Appreciation Day set for Aug. 2

    Oklahoma State fans can officially start the 2014 Cowboy football season on Aug. 2 when OSU hosts its annual Fan Appreciation Day, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

    July 22, 2014

  • GOLF: Molini-Risenhoover win Heritage Hills Invitational title

    Levi Molini and Brad Risenhoover teamed together to take top honors in the Heritage Hills Invitational held this past weekend.
    Molini and Risenhoover posted a two-day total of 120 — shooting a 58-62 — in the championship flight to claim the overall tournament winner.

    July 22, 2014

  • NSU women's tennis tryout set for Aug. 27

    The Northeastern State women's tennis team will host tryouts at 3 p.m. Aug. 27 at the NSU Tennis Complex for the upcoming 2015 season.

    July 22, 2014

  • NSU Football Meet and Greet set for July 28

    Northeastern State football coach Rob Robinson and staff have announced the date for the first NSU Football Meet and Greet to help promote the upcoming 2014 season.

    July 22, 2014