Baylor women honor Griner with dominant win over Texas Tech

Brittney Griner, one of the greatest players in Baylor women’s basketball history, returned to Waco for the first time since her college days, as her No. 42 jersey was retired in a pregame ceremony on Sunday. Griner, who led the Lady Bears to two national championships and three Final Fours, became the seventh player to have her jersey retired by Baylor, joining Odyssey Sims, Melissa Jones, Nina Davis, Suzie Snider Eppers, Sheila Lambert and Sophia Young.

Griner, who is now a six-time WNBA All-Star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was emotional as she thanked the fans, coaches, teammates, and staff for their support and love. She also praised the current Baylor team, which honored her with a dominant performance against Texas Tech.

Baylor defense stifles Texas Tech in 61-32 victory

No. 21 Baylor (19-6, 8-6 Big 12) showed its defensive prowess, as it held Texas Tech (16-11, 5-9 Big 12) to just 32 points, the lowest scoring output by a Big 12 team in conference play this season. The Lady Raiders shot just 29.5% from the field, committed 29 turnovers, and were outscored 34-4 in the paint. Baylor also had a 42-26 advantage in rebounds, and scored 29 points off turnovers.

Baylor head coach Nicki Collen said that the key to the game was energy and effort, and that the best way to honor Griner was to compete at the defensive end. She also said that she started the group of players that had been the best defensive lineup all season long.

Baylor offense balanced and efficient

Baylor’s offense was balanced and efficient, as 10 players scored and the team shot 46.3% from the field. Sarah Andrews led the way with 11 points, four assists, and three steals. Darianna Littlepage-Buggs added 10 points, while Bella Fontleroy had nine points and two blocks. Aijha Blackwell contributed six points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Texas Tech had no answer for Baylor’s inside-out game, as the Lady Bears scored 18 of their 34 points in the paint in the first half, and then hit six 3-pointers in the second half. Baylor also had 18 assists on 25 made field goals, and only nine turnovers.

Baylor looks ahead to Kansas rematch

Baylor will look to extend its winning streak to four games, as it hosts Kansas (15-10, 8-6 Big 12) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Lady Bears will seek revenge for their 87-66 loss to the Jayhawks on Jan. 10 in Lawrence, which was their worst defeat of the season. Baylor is currently tied with Kansas and Oklahoma State for fifth place in the Big 12 standings, and will try to improve its position and seeding for the conference tournament.

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