DURHAM, N.C. —
“Her hands are huge. When she grabbed my hand and helped me up, her hand was on my forearm. She’s cool. It was a great experience. We had fun.”
The Lady Bears (33-1), the overall No. 1 seed, won their 31st straight game since an early season loss to Stanford, another top seed.
Baylor plays eighth-seeded Florida State in the second round on Tuesday night.
Odyssey Sims had 12 points and 10 assists, and Destiny Williams had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Gabrielle Scott led Prairie View with 14 points. The Lady Panthers (17-15) lost as a No. 16 seed for the third year in a row.
Two of them were against Baylor in Waco, and the other was to Connecticut.
“This one game doesn’t justify our season,” Prairie View coach Toyelle Wilson said. “Baylor was a lot bigger than us. They had a lot more ammo. They played like the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.”
Griner’s latest dunk — she had two in the NCAA tournament last year — came right after Prairie View had scored to make it 49-26. Sims found Griner alone under the basket and threw a pass three-quarters of the length of the floor. Griner caught it, turned under the basket and dunked with one hand on the other side of the rim.
“It was a little energizer,” Griner said. “We definitely started playing with more energy after that.”
A few minutes after Griner’s dunk, Prairie View’s Tanisha Lacey took the ball away from Griner and tried to shoot over her. Griner didn’t even let the shot get out of Lacey’s hand, stuffing it out of bounds.
With the crowd still wildly cheering the block, Sims got a steal and threw the ball ahead to Kimetria Hayden, who converted a three-point play for Baylor’s first 30-point lead.