Baylor routs Iowa State 75-47 for Big 12 tournament title
“We won it three years in a row. I’m really happy about that,” said starting point guard, Odyssey Sims. “Just keep playing. We got a great team. We have a lot of depth.”
Led by the Big 12 Player of the Year Brittney Griner, Baylor (32-1, 18-0) walloped Iowa State in a 75-47 rout.
“Winning never gets old, especially this one,” said Griner. “I think I speak for the five seniors. We definitely wanted to get this win. We wanted to celebrate this, everybody did. This is our last go?around with the Big 12.”
Baylor began the game on a 23-6 and never looked back, partly in response to the way they performed in a close game against Oklahoma State the previous day.
“Definitely felt better than yesterday,” said Griner. “We came out just quick. It showed throughout the game in the first half. We came out the second half still doing the same thing we did in the first.”
With a 41-13 halftime lead, head coach Kim Mulkey was able to give all of her active players some minutes. Freshman Niya Johnson capped the win with a three-point shot at the buzzer, sending the Baylor faithful into a frenzy before the confetti started flowing.
Griner finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Sims was also in double figures with 20 points.
“It felt good,” said Sims about the win. “I felt we came out with a lot more intensity. We jumped on it from the start and never let up. I don’t know what was going on yesterday. Coach got us on the shoot around. We picked it up. We acted like we’re juniors and seniors.”
Iowa State (23-8, 12-6) relied heavily on three-point shots with leading scorer Anna Prins shooting 4-of-4 from behind the arc. She finished with 20 while guard Nikki Moody added 12.
Baylor hosts the first and second rounds of the Oklahoma City regionals of the NCAA tournament in Waco, March 24 and 26.
Griner indicated that the Lady Bears are ready for the NCAA rounds.
“I think we’re where we need to be, especially with this game,” she said. “If we can play like we played tonight, anything’s possible. I think we’re on track, just like we were last year.”
Sims thinks the team is more cohesive than the previous squad.
” There’s really no difference from last year,” said Sims. ” Our defense is the same, our offense. We’re just doing a better job of knowing where each other are on the court, understanding each other’s roles, being able to help a teammate when they’re down, working together.”