Texas Tech Falls To No. 1 Baylor, 64-51|
Jan. 22, 2011
WACO, Texas (AP) - The cheers from the Baylor fans seemed a little louder than usual for Brittney Griner. There were plenty of boos each time Jordan Barncastle entered the game or touched the ball.
Except for a brief high-five when they passed each other when the teams exchanged customary postgame handshakes after No. 1 Baylor's 64-51 victory over Texas Tech, there was no direct contact between the two players. It was their first meeting since last March when Griner threw a punch that broke Barncastle's nose and led to the 6-foot-8 star being suspended for two games.
On the court Saturday night, Griner had another big game and Barncastle wasn't even a factor.
"It was just another game," Griner insisted. "That was last year. I just came out and played the game."
Griner had 25 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots as the Lady Bears (18-1, 5-0 Big 12) extended their winning streak to 15 games. She scored the first six points in a 12-5 run to start the second half that wiped out a one-point deficit and put Baylor ahead to stay.
"I thought Brittney's game, it spoke for itself. I don't think she was affected one way or the other," coach Kim Mulkey said. "Maybe I'm too zoned in and focused, but I didn't think last year had any effect on this game tonight. ... Both teams played hard and aggressive, and that's what you're going to see."
There had been no interaction between Griner and Barncastle since the game last March in Lubbock, and there was none during warmups and before the opening tip. When they were in the game at the same time, they were guarding other players - though it was always clear when Barncastle touched the ball by the boos coming from the crowd of 10,379.
Griner, the preseason AP All-American, was 8 of 14 from the field 8 of 10 on free throws. Barncastle missed her only shot and had four rebounds in 13 minutes.
"Guys, there's nobody in the game like her. She's incredible. She's got a chance to lead her team to a national championship, Olympic gold medals, one of the greatest to ever play the game," Tech coach Kristy Curry said. "She's a hard matchup for a lot of people."
Christine Hyde had 14 points to lead Texas Tech (16-3, 3-2), which lost its second consecutive game to a Top 25 team since its second eight-game winning streak of the season.
After Hyde hit a basket with 1:41 left to get the Lady Raiders within 57-51, Melissa Jones hit a game-clinching 3-pointer.
"Between those two (Griner and Jones), they always make a play when Baylor needs it most," Curry said.
After Griner hit two free throws in the opening minute of the second half for a 30-29 lead, Teena Wickett hit a 3-pointer to put the Lady Raiders back in front before Griner's jumper tied the game.
Baylor then went ahead for good when Griner caught Odyssey Sims' inbound pass under the basket and made a short jumper while being fouled. Griner missed the free throw, but Jones grabbed the rebound and got the ball to Destiny Williams for a layup.
"We out to come out more intensity and everybody had to get pumped up," Griner said. "I just tried to do whatever I had to do."
The Lady Bears had a 53-38 lead when Sims hit a 3-pointer with 9 minutes left. Tech then scored eight in a row, six by Hyde.
Jones had 13 points. Destiny Williams had 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Lady Bears.
Sims, the freshman starting point guard, got called for a charge only 1 1/2 minutes into the game. Officials took an extended look at video replay before determining that it was an intentional foul on Sims for shoving Monique Smalls hard in front of the Texas Tech bench. Smalls went to the locker room briefly for an apparent busted lip, but was back in the game midway through the first half.
The Lady Raiders got nothing out of the penalty. Brown missed both free throws, then Wickett turned it over. That came after Mallard had already been called a questionable foul on Griner away from the ball in the opening minute of the game.
Sims' foul was sandwiched by Griner's short jumper and a driving layup by Jones for a 4-0 lead - the largest gap by either team in the first half. Baylor played most of it without Sims, who had two early fouls and played only 5 minutes.
There were nine lead changes and six ties by the break. Texas Tech got the 29-28 halftime lead on Hyde's 3-pointer with 1:21 left.