Nov. 29, 2009
WACO, Texas (AP) - Freshman Brittney Griner is starting to show a deft touch at the free throw line.
Griner had a season-high 26 points, including going 12-for-14 from the free throw line, 12 rebounds and eight blocks to help eighth-ranked Baylor beat Lamar 87-65 on Sunday in the finale of the World Vision Classic.
"Brittney has been shooting the free throws well," said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, who knows her star pupil will see double and triple teams all season. "I think everyone wants to talk about her dunks, but Brittney can shoot the basketball and can shoot it with great touch."
Morgan Medlock added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Bears (6-1), and Kelli Griffin had 14 points and six assists.
Jenna Plumley led the Cardinals (5-2) with 22 points, including 6-of-10 shots from 3-point range. Plumley scored a career-high 24 points against the Lady Bears in 2007 as a freshman at Oklahoma.
"You just don't have an answer for Griner," Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said of Baylor's post. "And if you do, you don't have an answer for Melissa Jones. And I think Melissa Jones is one of the very best basketball players in the whole country."
Lamar had no answer for Griner on either end. She repeatedly reached over smaller opponents to grab offensive rebounds and anchored Baylor's defense by tying her career high for blocked shots.
"That kid is phenomenal," Tidwell said. "We took it in there and she would send it right back. It's sort of like Lew Alcindor before he became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They used to play him with tennis rackets. I thought about that. But right now with our budget, we can't afford tennis rackets."
Baylor broke it open with an 11-0 run in the closing minutes of the first half to take a 43-26 lead at the break. Medlock had a pair of buckets inside, Griner added a pair of free throws and Melissa Jones made a 3-pointer from the left corner to cap the run.
Griner and Medlock helped the Lady Bears run up big advantages in rebounds (54-30) and scoring in the paint (42-18). But the Lady Cardinals still managed to score more points than any Baylor opponent except No. 6 Tennessee, a 74-65 winner in Knoxville on Nov. 15.
Baylor won last year's meeting with Lamar in Waco, 83-36.