Baylor’s Brittney Griner and OSU’s Kendra Suttles
WACO, Texas – Baylor continued its winning ways with a 70-39 win over Oklahoma State Saturday night in Waco in front of a crowd of 9,038 at the Ferrell Center. It was “Family Night” for the Lady Bears and all members of the squad except for injured Shanay Washington who is out for the season, saw minutes.
“I thought it was important on ‘Family Night’ to play everybody and to do it early,” said Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. “Tonight was a game where everybody got to see their child play and everybody should be happy. I was very generous.”
Sophomore center Brittney Griner was also happy to see her all of her teammates get minutes.
“I’m glad everybody got to play today,” said Griner. “I don’t know how coach does it. I don’t think I could do it. Everybody is so talented.”
The game started with a tribute to the late Angel Gist, a former Lady Bear who played during the 1988-89 season. Gist, who was a 6-0 post from West Monroe, Louisiana, died in a car accident on February 11, 1989.
During pre-game, Griner also received a commemorative ball to celebrate her feat of reaching the 1,000 point career mark in Baylor’s win over Texas this past Wednesday.
At tipoff, the 6-8 Griner went up against 6-6 OSU freshman Vicky McIntrye. Griner won the tip and sent it to freshman point guard Odyssey Sims. The Lady Bears got off to a quick start and a 6-0 run with a three-pointer from senior guard Melissa Jones, a jumper from sophomore transfer Destiny Williams and a free throw from Griner.
Oklahoma State freshman Tiffany Bias scored the first points for her team and the Cowgirls managed to keep it close for only the first few minutes of the game. Baylor’s stifling man-to-man defense kept the Cowgirls from developing any offensive rhythm for not just the first half, but for most of the entire game.
As Baylor widened the lead midway through the first half, Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey began subbing in her reserves, giving them generous minutes so that by the end of the first half all of the Baylor players had seen minutes on the floor.
Baylor led 38-17 at the break. Shortly before the half ended, Griner had the crowd on their feet and cheering when she ran down the court chasing Cowgirls guard Lakyn Garrison who was going for a layup and blocked the OSU player’s shot with the force of a volleyball spike.
“You just don’t see that everyday, said Mulkey about the block. “It’s almost scary. We do see that everyday and I don’t take it for granted and the fans don’t either. I think they applauded her in the way that they should have.”
At the half, Griner and Sims had 11 points each. For Oklahoma State, sophomore forward Toni Young led with eight points. Coming out of the gate in the second half, Oklahoma State managed to slow down the Baylor rout for a few minutes but even with reserves playing for much of the second half, the Lady Bears’ relentless defense shut down Oklahoma State slowing their offense and causing the Cowgirls to commit turnovers.
Griner finished with 18 points, Sims had 15 and senior Melissa Jones scored 10.
For OSU, sophomore forward Toni Young led with 12 points.
The only other time the Cowgirls played a number one team was when Mulkey was an assistant coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech in 1989. OSU lost to LaTech 74-59.
Baylor is now 23-10 all-time against Oklahoma State, including 15-2 in Waco. The win extends Baylor’s season win streak to 13 games and 13 in-a-row at home.
Oklahoma State hosts Colorado on January 18 at 6 p.m. Baylor travels to Kansas for its next matchup on January 19 at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be telecast on the Sunflower network.