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Griner career-high 41 for No. 1 Baylor, 77-53 over Iowa State for undefeated regular season
WACO, Texas (AP) ' Brittney Griner scored a career-high 41 points and top-ranked Baylor completed its first undefeated regular season with a 77-53 win over Iowa State on Saturday.
The Lady Bears (31-0, 18-0 Big 12) stretched their home winning streak to 40 games in a row.
Iowa State made seven 3-pointers before halftime, including Chelsea Poppens' shot in the final minute that tied the game at 32. The Cyclones (18-11, 9-9) still led 40-38 after Griner made a short jumper and Baylor coach Kim Mulkey called timeout.
Baylor then forced three turnovers in less than a minute. They went ahead on a reverse layup by Destiny Williams in that stretch and never trailed again, then added a 26-4 run soon after that.
Griner's previous career high was 40 points, against Green Bay in last year's NCAA tournament. She made 15 of 18 field goals and 11 of 13 free throws against Iowa State, plus had eight rebounds. The 15 field goals matched her career high.
Destiny Williams had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Bears. Despite going 1 of 9 from the field, Odyssey Sims had nine points with five steals.
Anna Prins had 17 points with four 3-pointers for the Cyclones. Nikki Moody had 12 points.
Right after Mulkey's timeout, the Lady Bears went with a full-court pressure defense, and Jordan Madden almost immediately had a steal.
After Griner missed a potential tying free throw on that possession, Kimetria Hayden got a rebound and missed a 3-pointer before Griner missed a putback. But Williams grabbed the ball under the basket and made a quick step for a reverse layup and a 41-40 lead with 16:38 left.
The Cyclones tied the game at 43-all on a 3-pointer by Chassidy Cole with 15:21 left. But they didn't make another field goal for more than 13 minutes.
Williams responded with a long jumper that started the 26-4 run over nearly 10 minutes.
After another steal by Madden, Sims made a bounce pass to Williams, who missed the layup. But Griner grabbed the rebound in traffic and put it back in while getting fouled. She stomped backward pounding her chest with both fists as the crowd erupted and the ball dropped through the basket, and the Lady Bears led 50-43 even though she missed the free throw.
Iowa State, which had gone 7-2 in February, kept shooting from long range before halftime.
The Cyclones were down by eight points early, but consecutive 3s by Prins that sandwiched a basket by Griner got them to 28-27 with 5 minutes left in the first half.
After not scoring in the final 3:10 of the first half, Baylor players were clearly frustrated. But they didn't immediately get to go to the locker room at the break, instead staying on the bench a few more minutes for a ceremony to recognize three seniors in their last home game, Terran Condrey, Ashley Field and Lindsay Palmer.
Iowa State was 3-of-15 on 3-pointers after halftime, and Baylor dominated inside the entire game with a 52-8 scoring edge in the paint.