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Griner leads No. 2 Lady Bears to win over No. 25 MSU

Nov. 19, 2010

Rody Aydelotte | Waco Tribune Herald/Associated Press
No. 42 power forward Brittney Griner shoots over Michigan State's No. 32 forward Kalisha Keane during the first half of the game Friday in Waco, Texas. Griner had four blocks, pushing her career total to 248, one less than Danielle Wilson's total over three seasons with the Lady Bears. As a freshman last year, she broke the Division I single-season record for blocks with 223 in 35 games.

By Stephen Hawkins
Associated Press Basketball Writer

WACO -- Brittney Griner scored 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds and moved within one block of Baylor's career record as the second-ranked Lady Bears rolled to a 78-52 victory over No. 25 Michigan State on Friday night.

The Lady Bears (4-1) posted another lopsided home victory, this one against another ranked team, only three nights after a tough one-point loss at top-ranked Connecticut.

Griner had four blocks, pushing her career total to 248, one less than Danielle Wilson's total over three seasons with the Lady Bears. The AP preseason All-American burst onto the national scene last season, when as a freshman the 6-foot-8 Griner set an NCAA single-season record with 223 blocks and also had four dunks. St. Mary's No. 2 senior forward Louella Tomlinson holds the division's career block record, with 527 blocks as of Friday.

Baylor put the game out of reach with an 18-2 run midway through the first half when Griner, senior captain Melissa Jones and freshman guard Odyssey Sims combined for all the points.

The Lady Bears have won their four home games by an average margin of 39 points.

Kalisha Keane had 28 points and eight rebounds to lead Michigan State (2-1), which shot only 33 percent (20 of 60) overall and made only 4 of 22 3-pointers.

Jones had 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting with two 3-pointers for Baylor, while Sims had 10 points.

In Tuesday night's showdown at Hartford, Conn., Baylor overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half with a 27-4 run. But the Lady Bears couldn't hold on as Connecticut, the team that beat them in the national semifinal last April, extended its winning streak to 80 games.

Against Michigan State, Baylor played the first of seven consecutive home games in a stretch that will include visits from No. 12 Notre Dame and fourth-ranked Tennessee. The Lady Bears have won 91 of their last 100 games and are 147-19 at the Ferrell Center in coach Kim Mulkey's 11 seasons.

Griner started a big spurt with a free throw to make it 16-11 with 11:17 left in the first half, the first of 11 straight points for Baylor in a span of just over 2 minutes.

After a Michigan State turnover, Griner grabbed her own rebound to make a layup. Then Jones had a steal and passed to Sims, who was just getting up near midcourt after getting knocked down seconds earlier. Sims drove for an uncontested layup and then on the next Lady Bears possession made a 3-pointer.

Kimetria Hayden missed a breakaway layup after she had a steal, but Jones got the rebound and made a layup while being fouled. Jones added the free throw for a 26-11 lead.

Jasmine Thomas broke the string with a basket for Michigan State, but Jones hit a 3-pointer, Sims had a breakaway layup after another Hayden steal and Griner made two free throws to cap the longer run.

Baylor trailed only once, after Lykendra Johnson made the Spartans' only 3-pointer of the first half to make it 5-4 less than 2½ minutes into the game. But the Lady Bears went ahead to stay on the next possession when Hayden banked in a 3-pointer.

Michigan State had made 19 3-pointers its first two games, the most in a two-game span in program history.