WVU Tripped Up by Top-Ranked Baylor

  • By Abby Norman
  • |
  • March 02, 2013 10:35 PM
  • |
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team fell to No. 1 Baylor Saturday night, 80-49, in front of a record-breaking crowd of 13,447 at the WVU Coliseum in its home season finale.

The Mountaineers (17-11, 9-8 Big 12) could not contain Brittney Griner as she became the first opposing player, men’s or women’s, to score a triple-double in the Coliseum with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to lead the Lady Bears (28-1, 17-0 Big 12) to a record-setting 39-game Big 12 regular-season win streak.

Baylor came out hot on a 14-0 run led with four points apiece from Griner and Kimetria Hayden. With 15:10 remaining in the first half, Baylor was 6-of-8 from the field and shooting 75 percent. WVU broke the run with a three from Taylor Palmer, but the Lady Bears would not let up as Baylor would go on another 6-0 run before a layup from Bria Holmes gave the Mountaineers its second basket of the game.

Baylor kept the momentum on their side the rest of the opening half, holding the Mountaineers to 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) from the field, as the Lady Bears took a 38-22 halftime lead.

“I thought we played scared in the beginning,” coach Mike Carey says. “This was an opportunity. I like those types of opportunities and we like our team to have those types of opportunities. I’d love to play Baylor again next week. They put it to us here, but I thought there was a stretch there where we got a little confidence, so we just need to build on that.”

WVU came out of the break and went on a 12-4 run, which included a pair of threes from Ayana Dunning and Linda Stepney, to bring the Mountaineers within eight – the closest it would come in the game. A jumper and a block from Griner on the following possession would stall WVU’s momentum and put Baylor back into control as the Lady Bears stretched their lead out to 31 points.

“I thought the second half we came out and cut it to eight and finally we started playing and moving a little bit. A couple fouls and missed shots, we put them at the foul line and they went back up and we were never back in it. It was good to see we had that one run, a shame we didn’t continue that run just to make it interesting,” Carey says.

Christal Caldwell led the Mountaineers for the 12th time this season with 14 points, while also chipping in four rebounds. Dunning followed with nine points and Stepney finished the game as the team’s leading rebounder with six. Crystal Leary came off the bench to grab five off the boards, while also leading the team with three steals.

“Fantastic crowd—unbelievable. I want to thank everyone for coming. I’m just a little embarrassed we didn’t play better,” Carey says. “Yaya, it’s her last home game here and she’s been a great player for us. She is a great young lady and graduated already and is on her master’s. I’m really proud of her and just wish her the best.”

Behind Griner, Odyssey Sims was the only other player for Baylor in double figures with 10 points, while also posting five assists.

The Bears shot 56 percent from the field (28-50), which is an opponent season-high against WVU. The Mountaineers had its second most attempts from the field in a Big 12 game this season with 71, but were held to a season-low 22.5 percent (16-71) from the field, and were 5-of-24 (20.8%) from 3-point range. Baylor only attempted three treys for 33.3 percent (1-3) and edged out WVU at the charity stripe with 23-of-30 (76.7%), while the Mountaineers were 12-of-17 (70.6%).

The Mountaineers forced 19 Baylor turnovers for 19 points off turnovers, while limiting their own turnovers to 14. WVU also found the edge in steals, grabbing 11 to Baylor’s six, but the Lady Bears out-rebounded WVU 48-37 and scored 30 points in the paint to the Mountaineers’ 18.

WVU will finish out its inaugural regular season in the Big 12 Conference with a game at Texas on Tuesday, March 5 at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network.