Jan. 31, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Earnesia Williams scored 13 points and No. 19 Texas got a much-needed boost in the Big 12 with a 61-50 win over No. 14 Baylor on Sunday.
Texas (14-6, 3-3) led by 21 midway through the second half before Baylor rallied to get within seven with under 3 minutes to play. Brittainey Raven chipped in 12 points and Ashleigh Fontenette scored 11 for the Longhorns.
Brittney Griner scored 21 points to lead Baylor (15-5, 2-4), which is still searching for its first league road win. But she got little help offensively from her teammates as Baylor shot just 32 percent. Texas handled the 6-foot-8 freshman post player much of the game by rotating their own 6-4 forwards, Ashley Gayle and Cokie Reed, to defend her.
Reed and Gayle scored eight points together and both fouled out, but their work inside and Texas' zone defense helped deny entry passes to Griner, one of the best players in the country.
By alternating Reed, Gayle and just about any player they could find on Griner, Texas could afford to be aggressive on defense. While Reed and Gayle both picked up two early fouls, each got valuable rest time when Griner picked up her second late in the half and spent the final 4:48 on the bench.
Griner scored nine points in the first half, but Texas led 21-17 when she went to the bench. Without Griner, one of the top shot-blockers in the country, Texas could attack the lane for several layups to lead 33-25 at halftime.
Griner scored Baylor's first basket of the second half and drew Gayle's third foul just 13 seconds into the half. Gayle stayed in the game and answered with a basket of her own. Texas built the lead to 44-29 when Williams hit a 3-pointer from the right corner.
Texas kept pressing its lead. Gayle hit a short jumper over Griner and a layup by Fontenette put Texas up 50-29 with 13:18 to play.
Griner kept working for her shot, but few were falling and several rattled in and out of the rim. And she wasn't getting any help from teammates missing wide-open jumpers.
The game started to change when Texas got into serious foul trouble.
Texas started missing shots that could have extended the lead. Griner converted a 3-point play and Jordan Madden hit a 3-pointer to start an 11-0 Baylor run. Reed and Gayle both fouled out within 51 seconds, taking them out of the game with 7:38 still to play. Baylor got within 51-42 before Raven ended a six-minute scoring drought for Texas with two free throws.
Baylor's offensive run ended because the Bears still couldn't hit shots or get Griner the ball against Texas' smaller lineup.
Baylor's last chance for a rally came when Madden hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to get within 56-49 before Fontenette drove the baseline and drew Griner's fourth foul for a 3-point play. Williams then hit a long jumper over Griner's outstretched arms.