Baylor neutralizes Kansas State’s three-point shooting en route to a 80-47 win in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament


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Photos © Robert Franklin, all rights reserved.

Session 2 Attendance: 7,718
#1 Baylor 80, #8 Kansas State 47

DALLAS – Kansas State may have psyched out Texas with a last second backdoor cut that had defenders looking to deter a three-point shot but they had no answers for the No. 1 team in the nation from the tip. The Lady Bears dominated the game for an 80-47 rout in game two of day two of the Big 12 tournament Saturday afternoon.

Baylor senior center Brittney Griner, the league’s player of the year, nearly earned a triple-double with 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, a career-high for dishes. While Kansas State tried to rely on their excellent three-point shooting prowess against a taller team with a much deeper bench, they could barely get a shot off as Baylor’s defense shut them down.

“It just took us forever to begin to feel even remotely comfortable offensively in that first half,” said Kansas State head coach Deb Patterson. “Kind of like being in the middle of a buzz saw. Once we got down, as well as they were playing, it became a real climb for us to get ourselves back in this basketball game.”

Baylor played Kansas State Monday night in Waco in their regular season finale. And while they won the game, 90-68, with a monster 50-point performance from Griner with a dunk added, K-State hung around and kept the game competitive for much of the contest. They shot trey after trey and managed to get within three points about midway through the second half before Baylor went on a 27-8 run to close out the game.

Saturday afternoon the Lady Bears kept K-State’s ability to get wide open threes in mind as they faced the Wildcats at American Airlines Center.

“When they came to our house, they hit a lot of threes,” said point guard Odyssey Sims. “We tried to cut back on that. We communicated more, buckled down and really focused on our defense tonight.”

Sims also indicated that part of their strong effort in response to Monday’s game stemmed from a coaching critique.

“Coach got on us, we buckled down in practice,” said Sims. “We focused, came out, knew what we had to do. We had a game plan from the jump. I think everybody was more focused on what they needed to do individually and understood their roles. Everyone did that tonight.”

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey echoed Odyssey’s thoughts.

“The difference from a week ago is that we communicated better on the defensive end of the floor,” said Mulkey. “We switched. We never allowed them to dribble penetrate and us get sucked in, they kick out and hit all the three?pointers. I thought that every position on the floor we guarded. We had post players guarding point guards. We tried to do that in Waco last week and we weren’t very good. I thought our defense actually was bad. I thought today we set the tone with switching, communicating on the defensive end of the floor.”

While Griner had a near triple-double she was not the leading scorer for her team. Destiny Williams finished with 20 points plus seven rebounds. Sims contributed 10 points, four rebounds and seven assists.

Senior guard Brittany Chambers led K-State with 21 points and seven rebounds, the only player on her team in double figures. Five of her made shots were three-pointers.

Baylor faces Oklahoma State tomorrow at 2 p.m. The game will be televised on FSN.

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