Nov. 27, 2009
WACO, Texas -- Melissa Jones scored a career-high 23 points and had 11 rebounds and No. 8 Baylor held Idaho to six field goals and 15 points in the second half in an 82-37 victory Friday night.
After scoring in double figures in her first four college games, Baylor freshman Brittney Griner finished with six points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. She didn't attempt a dunk and left the game with 9:40 left.
Bianca Cheever scored 11 points for Idaho (0-4), which was 14 of 52 from the field and missed 23 of 31 attempts from 3-point range.
Baylor opened the game on a 23-3 run and led 47-22 at halftime. Griner didn't score in the first half, but did have three blocks, three rebounds and a steal.
Idaho felt the presence of Griner before the game officially started. Four Idaho players positioned themselves away from the center circle, where their teammate, 5-foot-8 freshman Natasha Helsham, faced Griner for the opening tip. Helsham never jumped when referee Scott Yarbrough tossed the ball.
"Let's be real," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "We wanted to get back in our defense in case they were going to run a play off the tip. We would be back in our defense, ready to go."
From there, Idaho's strategy revolved around stopping Griner.
"It was part of the plan," Newlee said. "The part that wasn't part of the plan was letting Jones sit out there by herself. Our kid got so wrapped up in doubling Griner ... she was supposed to get out on the shooter and she just got caught up in the whole deal and let Jones loose.
"You pick your poison. We weren't going to let them throw it into Griner because we certainly can't stop her. We took our chances with the 3 and they knocked them down. That's the way it goes."
Baylor made 7 of its 10 3-point attempts, with Jones going 5 of 7.
"Brittney Griner quietly might have been the most valuable player tonight," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. Brittney just draws that much attention. There's more to this team than just Brittney Griner. And people forget. Look at her. She is a freshman with three people (on her) every time she turns around. What great respect that is."