Baylor routs Lamar 80-34 to start the season

Brittney Griner (42) of Baylor finger rolls a basket against Lamar. Kimetria Hayden (1) and Mariah Chandler (11) watch.
Brittney Griner (42) of Baylor finger rolls a basket against Lamar. Kimetria Hayden (1) and Mariah Chandler (11) watch. Photo © Robert Franklin, all rights reserved.

WACO, Texas – Baylor had no trouble putting away Beaumont’s Lamar University 80-34 Friday afternoon on the first day of the college regular season in front of 8,158 fans. The Lady Bears started the game on a 10-3 run and never looked back racking up their 41st consecutive win. Forward Brooklyn Pope started the run for Baylor with a jump shot after center Brittney Griner missed her first attempt.

Pregame, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey received the United States Sports Academy 2012 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award. The win over Lamar gave Baylor a 11-2 record in openers under Mulkey.

At the half, Baylor led 40-25. Overall, Griner led her team with 25 points. Odyssey Sims contributed 11 points and 8 assists. Jordan Madden had 10 points plus 8 rebounds. Chardonae Fuqua, Kristina Higgins and Niya Johnson all made their first-career appearances on Friday for the Lady Bears.

Mulkey was happy her team won but pointed out some of Baylor’s weaknesses.

“Honestly the glaring weaknesses that the freshmen had were to be expected,” said Mulkey. “My disappointment always comes with the older players. I thought there was some selfish basketball being played out there. I thought there was a lot of one-on-one basketball and bad shots taken and no ball reversal. That’s a mental mind set and come Tuesday night, they better erase how they played today because they are going to have their hands full Tuesday night with a team that presses for 40 minutes. Today wasn’t a pretty game, but it was the first game of the year.”

She was satisfied with the play of two players in particular.

“I am always pleased when we win and I could also tell you two players who really played well; Brooklyn Pope, besides the two fouls that forced her to sit most of the first half,” said Mulkey.”I have asked Brooklyn to do three things: offensive rebound and she started off the game with one; she has to finish under the basket, and she was four-for-five today; and also she has to hit her free throws and she did that today. I was really pleased with Brooklyn today. I wished I had given her more minutes today. The other player was Jordan Madden. She stayed out there and never got tired. She was guarding their best player and also had eight assists. I thought those two players stood out for us today.”

Lamar’s coach lavished praise on Baylor.

“Brittney Griner is the best player in the nation. But they have the best point guard in the nation too in Odyssey Sims,” said head coach Larry Tidwell. “Sims is just dynamite. She will pressure you on both ends of the floor and then she runs her offense and she gave us fits all night. You mix the combo with having without a question the coach of the year, that is pretty good and you have six more McDonald’s All-Americans coming at you. We battled well in the first half, but we just did not finish.”

Kalis Loyd led Lamar with 11 points and 6 rebounds.

Lamar goes home to face Texas-Tyler on Monday while Baylor hosts No. 6 Kentucky on Tuesday.

  • The attendance of 8,158 is the largest season home opening crowd since 2005 vs. UCLA (9,065) and the second-largest all-time for a season opener.
  • Baylor leads the series with Lamar 6-1.
  • Baylor is 79-4 over its last 83 games.
  • Brittney Griner has now scored in double-figures in 81 straight games and in 111 of 113 in her career. She now has 69 career 20-point performances.
  • Kim Mulkey’s career record improved to 339-79.
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