Lady Bears shellac Dustdevils, 107-26Nov. 5, 2010
A day after learning their starting point guard quit the team, the Lady Bears blew past Texas A&M International in a 107-26 exhibition game Friday night. Brittney Griner led the way with 25 points in 21 minutes, while junior transfer Brooklyn Pope scored 13 from the starting lineup in her second career game at Baylor.
"It's a game where I'm not sure I could tell you everything that went good about it other than everybody got to play," coach Kim Mulkey said.
Mulkey literally meant everybody played. Ashley Field's 28 minutes was the team's high, and Shanay Washington, who has fought through back spasms, played the least with 12 minutes.
The only player not seeing any action was now-former point guard Kelli Griffin, whose decision to quit Mulkey could not explain. Mulkey said Griffin, sitting 132 assists short of the program's all-time assist lead, did not attend practice this week and told Mulkey she no longer wanted to play basketball.
There was no doubt in the game's outcome, however, as the Lady Bears launched a 22-0 run from the opening tip. They came out with a furious pace, scoring the first three baskets on fast breaks. Griner had no problem in the post and towered over defenders for three scores during the run.
She says a point of emphasis has been holding her followthrough on shots.
"Just working on it in practice, putting them up in practice has given me confidence to knock it down in the game," Griner said.
Pope made her first start in a Baylor uniform Friday night. She was 5 of 8 and rejected two shots, second only to Griner's five on the night.
"Last exhibition game was a great reminder that I need to work hard, and I need to finish my layups. So that was a big focal point for me, to finish my layups and pass the ball better to my teammates," Pope said.
By the nine minute mark Baylor had a 31-5 lead. It was enough for Mulkey to substitute four players, including her daughter, Makenzie Robertson, and newcomer Odyssey Sims.
Sims, an Irving freshman, split time at the point Friday night with sophomore guard Kimetria Hayden. Sims notched eight points in 13 minutes including two baskets from beyond the arc, and Hayden also added eight points.
Despite being last in the Big 12 in three-point shooting last season, the Lady Bears hit 6 of 12 treys Friday night.
Looking ahead, Mulkey expects the team's cohesion to improve as the season progresses.
"I thought the first group we started tonight had a semblance of doing everything together," Mulkey said. "We are not the basketball team today that we were in April. It's going to take a lot of time and patience. The schedule is really going to make us grow up in a hurry."
Baylor opens the regular season at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12 against Florida International as part of the World Vision Invitation in Waco. The Lady Bears' preconference schedule includes four top 25 ranked opponents and a trip to defending NCAA champion Connecticut on Nov. 16.