Saturday, 24 March 2012
Brittney Griner Dunks Again As Baylor Routs Georgia Tech In Women's NCAA Tournament
DES MOINES, Iowa — Baylor was cruising, the Lady Bears' reserves were waiting to check in and there seemed to be little excitement.
Then Brittney Griner got behind the Georgia Tech defense and everyone in the arena knew what could be coming.
Baylor's 6-foot-8 All-American didn't disappoint.
Griner threw down a two-handed dunk to cap a sensational performance and the Lady Bears stormed into the NCAA regional finals for the third straight year with an 83-68 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Griner, who finished with 35 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, took a pass from Brooklyn Pope and soared in for her dunk with 6:29 left in yet another rout for the Lady Bears – swinging briefly on the rim for good measure.
"I wanted to get one in this game," said Griner, who was almost nonchalant about her crowd-pleasing play. "Brooklyn got me the ball and I just went up and slammed it."
It was the second straight game in which Griner dunked and the seventh slam of her college career. She's now tied with former Tennessee star Candace Parker, whose two dunks in NCAA tournament play had been the most.
"Even though she dunks in warm-ups all the time, in the game it's just something that automatically just gets us fired up and really excited," Baylor's Odyssey Sims said. "I think we get more excited for her than she does for herself."
Destiny Williams added 18 points on 9-for-10 shooting for the top-seeded Lady Bears (37-0), who'll play second-seeded Tennessee in the regional final on Monday night, the winner advancing to the Final Four.The Lady Bears charged out of the timeout and scored the next 20 points and take a 26-10 lead -- and they did it with everyone contributing.
Griner hit three soft turnaround shots. Williams got inside for three buckets and made a leaner in the lane. Kimetria Hayden knocked down a jumper and a free throw, and Sims added three free throws. She finished with 11 points.
Mulkey said the key was beating Tech's press, which resulted in easy shots for Griner and Williams.
"Brittney got 35 points because of (her teammates') ability to handle the pressure and score at the end of the press," Mulkey said.
Tech committed seven turnovers and missed six shots while going scoreless for 6 1/2 minutes during Baylor's game-breaking surge. The Yellow Jackets would never recover.