No. 6 Kentucky no challenge for No. 1 Baylor, Lady Bears demolish Wildcats 85-51
Waco, TX, Tues. Nov. 13 – No. 1 Baylor beats No. 6 Kentucky. Baylor won 85-51. Photos © Robert Franklin, all rights reserved.
The defending NCAA champions raised their title banner to the rafters Tuesday night and followed up with a lopsided victory over visiting No. 6 Kentucky, 85-51, in front of 8,538 fans during the State Farm Tip-Off Classic in Waco.
All 13 Baylor players saw action with four in double figures. Senior center Brittney Griner led the way with 27 points, eight rebounds and 5 blocks. Point guard Odyssey Sims poured in 18 points, six assists and four steals, Destiny Williams scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds. Brooklyn Pope finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
From the tip it was all Baylor as Kimetria Hadyen scored the first points, a layup, and grabbed an offensive rebound from a Williams missed jumper. She dished it back to Williams who made a layup and it was off to the races for the Lady Bears. Baylor went on a 17-0 run from 7:52 to 2:43 in the first half to open up a 27-point lead.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was methodical in her dissection of the win.
“I thought there were three keys to the game and the players listened and did pretty well. We wanted to eliminate their transition baskets. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t turn the basketball over, and we wanted to keep their perimeter players off the offense boards,” said Mulkey. “Now when you look at the final stat sheets, some of that doesn’t look good. But you got to understand when you’re able to play your entire team on national television against the sixth-ranked team in the country, you’re doing something right. We were able to play enough minutes for the main rotation players, but yet give experience to the players that are going to have to help us down the road.”
At halftime Baylor led 46-19. Kentucky managed to improve their offensive output in the second half with 32 points to Baylor’s 39 but they continued to falter in the face of BU’s depth and offensive accuracy. Baylor shot 62.1 percent (18-of-29) from the floor in the first half and 40.6 (13-of-32) in the second. Kentucky was 20.6 (7-of-34) percent from the floor in the first half and 33.3 (12-of-36) percent in the second. Baylor hasn’t allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent from the field in 217 straight games, dating back to March 25, 2006, against Maryland.
A few days before arriving in Waco, Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell told reporters that he did not watch Baylor a lot last season because he was so busy with his team, family and keeping up the university’s men’s teams. It showed. His game plan for Baylor faltered.
“Our offensive game plan was to just try to get as much movement as we could, and try to move the ball, cut really crisp and set some good screens,” said Mitchell. “We never wanted to get into a situation where we were challenging Griner one-on-one, chest-to-chest. We wanted to try to make some power moves to the basket. Obviously, our offensive game plan wasn’t very good, so we will certainly try to get better from that.”
He praised Baylor’s all-around game when asked about the defense of the Lady Bears.
“I hate to ever take away from the opponent’s excellence. I don’t know how you could fault Baylor for anything they did tonight. I thought they really played excellent defense and Griner is such an imposing figure around the basket that their defense is designed to force you into jump shots. We didn’t make those, but that’s because we were taking shots that Baylor wanted us to take.”
Baylor travels to Hawaii for the Rainbow Wahine Classic next and faces No. 4 Stanford, Friday November 16. Kentucky returns home to host High Point on Saturday.
- Brittney Griner has scored in double-figures in 82 straight games and in 112 of 114 in her career. She now has 70 career 20-point performances.
- With her five blocks, Griner now has a Big 12 record 606 career blocks; 57 shy of Louella Tomlinson’s (Saint Mary’s, Calif.) NCAA DI record of 663.
- Griner has now recorded a block in 52 straight outings and 111 of her 114 career games.
- Griner needs 21 rebounds to reach 1,000 for her career to become just the fifth Lady Bear to haul down 1,000 boards.
- Kimetria Hayden has scored 847 career points and needs just 153 to become the 30th Lady Bear to achieve the milestone.
- Alexis Prince made her first-career appearances on Tuesday.
- Destiny Williams posted her 16th-career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.