The Baylor Lady Bears raced through the regular season in the Big 12 with an undefeated record. They cruised through the Big 12 tournament unscathed and picked up the No. 1 seed in the 2012 NCAA women’s basketball tournament. And now, after a dominating 80-61 win over Notre Dame in the national championship game, Baylor has completed the season with a national title to go with their 40-0 record. The Bears are the first team, men or women, with 40 victories in a season and stand as the seventh undefeated women’s national champion.
The Bears were led by junior center Brittney Griner, who had her way with the basket on offense and dominated the paint on defense. She finished the night with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, 13 rebounds and five blocks, showcasing her talents exquisitely. Griner was helped on the offensive end with 19 points by Odyssey Sims and 12 by Destiny Williams to account for the bulk of the Baylor scoring. The Bears outrebounded the Fighting Irish 46-27, had a 40-22 advantage in the paint and shot 50% from the field for the game.
Notre Dame got into early foul trouble with Devereaux Peters picking up two quick whistles less than four minutes into the contest. Point guard Skylar Diggins notched her second foul with 8:18 to play in the first half. The Irish was led by the scoring efforts of Diggins, who finished with 20 points in the loss. Despite Notre Dame’s best efforts to keep the game within striking distance, the Irish’s 6-point halftime deficit bloomed to 15 after the Bears went on a 21-2 run. Baylor follows the Texas A&M Aggies 2011 championships to give the Big 12 consecutive titles.