Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

For Kim Mulkey, Destiny Williams was the key in Baylor’s Big 12 tournament success

Published on March 12, 2011

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The last stretch to the final of the Big 12 Championship game could not have been more different for Baylor and Texas A&M. Baylor, who beat A&M 61-58 on Saturday afternoon in Kansas City, routed the first two teams they faced in the tournament while A&M fought tooth and nail to defeat Oklahoma in semifinals.

Even though Baylor’s top scorer Brittney Griner led her team in points in the final, setting a championship record at 31, it was the defense of Destiny Williams on A&M’s Danielle Adams coupled with rebounding prowess that made a huge difference in overcoming the Aggies’ relentless pressure in the mind of Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. She expressed disappointment that Williams was not included on the All-Tournament team given her performance at the tournament.

“How can you explain Destiny Williams is not on the All-Tournament team?,” said Mulkey. “She plays three games and she goes 21 points and eight rebounds, 18 points and seven rebounds, and she has 11 big rebounds today and you’re the champion and you only get the same number that A&M did, the same number of All-Tournament people?”

Even Griner gave credit to Williams when asked about going up against Adams.

“I was on her a couple times,” said Griner of Adams. “I was trying to make sure she didn’t get a three off. But credit to Destiny though.”

Throughout the post-game press conference, Mulkey chided the media about not voting for Williams.

“Write an article about Destiny Williams and her ability to stop the leading scorer in the league every game,” said Mulkey. “But she couldn’t make All-Tournament.”

The assignment to guard Adams, the Big 12 leading scorer, fell on Williams’ shoulders for the third time this year. Adams, who has never scored more than 13 points against Baylor, once again underperformed offensively in comparison to her scoring average (22.9 ppg). The Lady Bears swept the two-game season series between the teams. Saturday’s win marked the eighth straight win against the Aggies.

In the last regular season game between the two teams on February 14, Adams was stymied by the defense of Williams, finishing with just nine points.

“Baylor really contested her well, and that is how you stop someone,” said Texas A&M coach Gary Blair after that February 14 game. “You just put a hand in their face and contest like you are in the NBA or something. I guess it was [Destiny] Williams there most of the time and she really did a great job on her.”

During the championship game, Griner provided the offense for the Lady Bears to help them overcome a 12-0 deficit in the first five minutes of the game and Williams worked on stopping Adams from scoring. Senior guard Melissa Jones lauded Griner for stepping up to erase the deficit.

“You gotta give Brittney credit for just an outstanding game she played today,” said Jones. “It was just great to be a part of it and have the experience with her. We’ve been down before this year on several different occasions and we’ve been able to fight back. We knew even though we were down we could still find a way to win.”

By the break, Baylor had regained the lead and led 30-28 going into the locker room.

During the second half, the teams went at each other, basket for basket. The score was tied eight times and there were six lead changes.

At the end of regulation, Williams had 11 rebounds to add to her four points. The only other person in double figures for the Lady Bears was Kimetria Hayden with 10.

A&M’s guards effectively shut down Baylor’s starting point guard Odyssey Sims, limiting her to six points but the freshman did manage to pull down seven rebounds. Sims came into the game averaging 13.5 points per contest.

For the Aggies, Adams and Tyra White both finished with 12 points. Adams had 7 rebounds while White grabbed nine. Adaora Elonu contributed 10 points and five rebounds for TAMU.

Both coaches of the two top teams in the Big 12 praised the day’s play.

“Great college basketball game,” said Blair to start off his opening statement post-game. “You can see why the Big 12 is like it is now. It’s going to get harder when we go to ten.”

Looking Ahead

Even though Baylor went scoreless for five minutes, their will to come back and win the game will serve them well in the NCAA tournament according to Griner.

“There will be times when you get down and you just gotta be able to fight back,” said Griner. “So this game definitely helped us out and is going to give us some momentum going into the tournament.”

Jones agreed with her teammate.

“I think we couldn’t have had a better game to play A&M like we did today, going into the NCAA tournament,” said Jones. “It’s a good way to prepare us and to take us going into the tournament.”

While Baylor is all but guaranteed a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, A&M must wait until the selection show on Monday night to find out how they fare in the tournament seedings and where they will play in the first round.

“I think we’re a two [seed],” said Blair. “Where we go, it doesn’t matter. We haven’t gotten any favors the last couple of years, because the two sub-regionals we played at Notre Dame two years ago at their home court, they got upset. We played Minnesota, won easy. And last year we had to go to Seattle, play basically in Gonzaga’s home court. That wasn’t easy. Wichita, Albuquerque and Shreveport, I hope one of the three.”

Baylor will begin NCAA tournament play on their home court as the Lady Bears host first and second rounds in Waco.

Tournament Most Outstanding Player

  • Brittney Griner (Baylor)

All-Tournament Team

  • Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma)
  • Melissa Jones (Baylor)
  • Tyra White (Texas A&M)
  • Danielle Adams (Texas A&M)
  • Brittney Griner (Baylor)

Danielle Robinson, Tyra White and Danielle Adams all made the all-tournament team for the second
consecutive year. Griner is the third player in Baylor history to be named Most Outstanding Player at the Big 12
Championship, joining former BU players Jessica Morrow and Sophia Young.

Stats Comparison
Texas A&M
Baylor

Points 58 61
FG Made-Attempted 21-72 24-53
FG Percentage .292 .453
3PT Made-Attempted 1-14 1-14
3PT Percentage .071 .250
FT Made-Attempted 15-20 12-17
FT Percentage .750 .706
Rebounds 36 50
Turnovers 9 22
 
Stat Leaders
 
White/Adams 12 Pts 31 Griner
White 9 Rbs 11 Williams
Colson 5 Assts. 3 Madden/Jones
Carter 6 Stls 1
4 Players
Adams/Colson 1 Blks 7 Griner

Notes

  • Baylor overcame a 12-point Texas A&M lead to start the game. It is the largest deficit Baylor has overcome this season. Baylor’s previous largest overcome deficit was 11 points vs. Texas on Jan. 12, when BU came back to win 87-72.
  • The three-point Baylor victory represents the closest winning margin in a Big 12 Championship title game since Iowa State defeated Oklahoma, 68-65, in 2001.
  • Baylor captured its third Big 12 Championship title and the first since defeating Texas A&M 72-63 in 2009. Baylor improved to 3-2 in Big 12 Championship title games. Texas A&M, making its fourth consecutive Big 12 title game appearance, fell to 2-2 in those contests.
  • The higher seeded team won every game in the 2011 Big 12 Championship, the first time in conference history that has happened.
  • Sydney Carter’s career-high six steals are tied for the Big 12 Championship game record and rank tied for fifth on the all-time Big 12 Championship single-game record chart. She recorded 13 steals for the tournament, which is an individual Big 12 Championship series record.
  • Baylor’s 11 blocked shots vs. Texas A&M are a Big 12 Championship game record and rank second among all-time Big 12 Championships contests.

 

Readers Comments (1)

  1. WCBB fan says:

    I saw this copied on another site and came here to see if "the rest of the story" was included in the original post. Since what I was looking for wasn't here, I'll leave the same comment:

    You "forgot" to mention that when she "chided the media about not voting for Williams", Mulkey took the time to slam the player who she believed received the award unfairly: 

Q. I don't mind telling you your Destiny was on my ballot. 
COACH MULKEY: The ones that voted for her don't mind speaking up; I wonder how many of you here voted for Danielle Robinson who only played two games here. Speak up. Let me see you. Shame on you. Shame on you. She's not leaving here with a championship, is she?

    

Using your power to publicly belittle a kid from another team is a low blow, in my opinion. But Mulkey plays by her own rules and in her opinion, her kids should have had more spots on the all tournament team than the second place team, etc.

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