Griner one rebound short of triple-double as Lady Bears top No. 13 OklahomaJan. 13, 2010
By Chris Derrett
After dropping their first conference game on the road last Saturday, the Lady Bears protected their home court and defeated Oklahoma, 57-47, Wednesday night in the home conference opener. Brittney Griner, Shanay Washington and Kelli Griffin each had 12 points to lead Baylor, and Griner set a new Big 12 mark with her defensive effort.
Griner's 11 blocked shots shattered Baylor's single game record against a Big 12 opponent, outdoing Danielle Wilson's seven blocks recorded last season against Oklahoma. Coach Kim Mulkey, pleased with her team's level of effort, was as thankful to see Griner in a Baylor uniform as the 7,718 fans in attendance.
"She demands so much attention. She just has a presence at both ends of the floor. I'm glad she's on my team," Mulkey said.
The 6-foot-8 freshman was one rebound away from her second triple-double of the season and played all but one minute on Wednesday night.
The Lady Bears pulled ahead in the second half after Shanay Washington turned a steal into a fast break layup and drew a foul in the process. She sank the free throw, giving her team a 31-29 lead, which they would not surrender for the rest of the game.
Washington's aggressiveness led to three total steals, two of which resulted in fast breaks that yielded points.
"I just felt it. I needed to get some emotion out and I let it out right there," Washington said about the steal and layup. "Going into this game I knew I couldn't be timid."
On each possession Griner saw double and triple teams, and without the three-point shooting of Melissa Jones the Lady Bears relied on ball movement to score in the heavily congested paint.
Jones, hitting 21 of 48 three-point attempts on the season and shooting 87% from the charity stripe, missed both Saturday and Wednesday's game with a stress fracture. The 5-foot-10 guard remains day to day.
With only two conference games played, Mulkey's expectations remain high but focus on development just as much as victories.
"If we played the way we played tonight and got beat, I can live with their effort. It's not the talent we lack; it's the game experience," she said.