Griner, No. 9 Baylor beat Oklahoma 57-47Jan 14, 2010 - 4:32 AM By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer
WACO, Texas(AP) -- Brittney Griner constantly was drawing three, sometimes four, Oklahoma defenders each time Baylor had the ball.
When the Sooners were on offense, they had to feel like there was more than one of Griner - Baylor's 6-foot-8 freshman sensation - trying to stop them.
Griner had 12 points, 11 blocked shots and nine rebounds - just missing her second triple-double of the season - and the No. 9 Lady Bears beat No. 13 Oklahoma 57-47 on Wednesday night.
"(Griner) can affect your shot all you want, but she can't affect your swagger unless you let her," said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale, whose team shot a season-low 30 percent (19-of-63). "If you don't work to try to get open, if you don't run the sets, if you don't do your job, then no, you won't be open and then you won't have to shoot."
Shanay Washington and Kelli Griffin also had 12 points each for the Lady Bears (14-2, 1-1 Big 12), who stretched their home-court winning streak to 14 games.
Oklahoma (11-4, 1-1) was clearly intent on trying to contain Griner.
When the Sooners won the opening tip of the game, though Griner actually swatted the ball their way, Abi Olajuwon pumped her fist in celebration. But 34 seconds later, Olajuwon - Oklahoma's center and tallest player at 6-4 - was already on the bench after committing two fouls.
Joanna McFarland replaced Olajuwon and had two fouls in 57 seconds. Lyndsey Cloman then took over and needed less than a minute to get her first foul. Those five fouls in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the game came mostly trying to guard Griner.
"It's never frustrating," Griner said. "I don't let it get to me. I try to stay focused. ... I was real focused and real energized to go out and play my hardest this game."
Despite her lowest point total in 11 games, Griner still had a significant impact. She set a Big 12 record for a league game with her 11 blocks, pushing her season total to 99, only 20 shy of the single-season conference record set by Courtney Paris for Oklahoma in 2006.
Danielle Robinson had 15 points to lead the Sooners. Olajuwon had 10 points, all in the second half, while playing only 13 minutes because of foul trouble.
Washington, another Baylor freshman, put the Lady Bears ahead to stay when she had a steal, drove for a layup and hit the free throw after being fouled to make it 31-29 with 16 minutes left. Washington had another steal and drive three minutes later, hitting both free throws after being fouled again to stretch the lead to 35-29.
"I knew I needed to get the ball, knew we needed a stop. I went for it," Washington said. "I know I need to get in the paint and not be scared of contact."
Before a late charge by the Sooners, Baylor was up 47-35 with 7 minutes left when Kelli Griffin had an open lane to drive for a layup because neither of the defenders on Griner broke off to try to stop Griffin.
The Lady Bears were coming off a surprising 78-65 loss at Oklahoma State in their conference opener Saturday that snapped their 13-game overall winning streak since a season-opening loss at Tennessee. It was their second consecutive game without guard Melissa Jones because of a stress fracture in her right leg.
"I'm very proud of how our team came back from a loss with the intensity and the focus that you have to play with at this level," coach Kim Mulkey said. "If we would have played the way we played tonight and gotten beat, I could lived with their efforts."
Oklahoma has been without guard Whitney Hand since she tore a knee ligament in November.
Despite all those early fouls, Oklahoma led 25-24 at halftime.
Ashley Field hit a 3-pointer to make it 18-11 before the Lady Bears went almost five minutes without scoring and Oklahoma tied the game at 18 on Lauren Willis' three free throws. The Sooners were up at the half after Nyeshia Stevenson's 3-pointer with 1:36 left that capped a 14-4 run.
They just couldn't keep that gong.
"You've got to play the way you play," Coale said. "We play together. We play with a cadence. We play with rhythm. We share the basketball. We change sides of the floor. None of that happened tonight."
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