WACO, Texas —
After winning the Big 12 tournament championship with a 28-point victory over Kansas State, the Lady Bears opened the NCAA tourney with an 82-40 win over Prairie View. The NCAA’s top overall seed then scored the game’s first 11 points and had a 31-point halftime lead against Florida State on way to its 33rd consecutive victory overall and 57th in a row at home.
“If you look at our numbers across the board, it’s not just Brittney’s numbers,” Mulkey said. “If you look at Odyssey’s numbers, Destiny Williams’ field goal percentage, our free throw percentage.”
While Griner has averaged 33 points and 11 1/2 rebounds the past six games, Williams has made two-thirds of her field goal attempts (38 of 58) in the last eight games, even with a 2-for-6 night against the Seminoles. Sims has 41 assists with only 13 turnovers (seven coming in one game) in the same seven-game span when the Lady Bears are shooting 57 percent from the field as a team.
Baylor is 72-2 at home since the arrival of the senior trio of Griner, Kimetria Hayden and Jordan Madden. Griner played in only one of those losses, missing the regular season finale of her freshman season, a loss to Texas.
The Lady Bears have won every home game the past three seasons since point guard Sims arrived the same year that transfers Destiny Williams and Pope, the other current seniors, were able to start playing for the team. Sims can extend the home winning streak next season, but Griner and the other Lady Bears seniors will end their careers on the road — preferably by lifting another national championship trophy in New Orleans on April 9.
The last time Baylor didn’t make it past the NCAA round of 16 was 2009, before any of the current players, when Louisville won 56-39 in a third-round game. Now Baylor gets Louisville again.