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Griner Leads No. 2/3 Baylor Past Lady Flames

November 26, 2010  Waco, Texas  RSS
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Avery Warley scores two of her six points past Baylor's Brittney Griner on Friday.

Avery Warley scores two of her six points past Baylor's Brittney Griner on Friday.

Baylor sophomore sensation Brittney Griner scored a career-high 35 points, grabbed nine rebounds and turned away seven Liberty shots, Friday evening at the Ferrell Center. Her impressive effort led the No. 2/3 Bears to an 81-42 victory over Liberty.

Liberty falls to 2-4 on the season, after its second consecutive loss to a Top 10 opponent on its Texas trip. Meanwhile, Baylor improves to 6-1, with its third straight win after a loss to No. 1 UConn.

Griner had five points and four blocked shots as part of Baylor's 9-0 run during the game's first 2:20. Liberty did not get on the board until Avery Warley canned a layup at the 17:14 mark.

The Lady Flames pulled to within six, 11-5, on Emily Frazier's three-pointer from the right wing at 16:38. Baylor countered with a 15-2 surge, including six points by Brooklyn Pope. Pope's back-to-back transition layups lifted the home team's lead to 26-7, 12:24 before halftime.

Liberty chipped its deficit to 30-15, when Kylee Beecher swished a three-pointer from the left corner with 7:01 showing on the first-half clock.

That was as close as the Lady Flames got for the remainder of the period, and Baylor took a 47-21 lead into halftime on Melissa Jones' three-pointer from the left corner as time expired.

Field goal percentage was the biggest discrepancy on the first-half stat sheet. The homestanding Bears shot at a 66.7 percent (18-of-27) clip, scoring 28 points inside the paint and 10 fast break points. Meanwhile, Liberty shot just 25.8 percent (8-of-31), getting only eight points in the paint.

Baylor also won the battle between two of the nation's best rebounding teams in the first 20 minutes, 22-13. Nine of the Lady Flames' 13 boards came at the offensive end.

Seven different players scored for Liberty in the first half, led by LaKendra Washington and Tolu Omotola with four points apiece. Omotola also grabbed a team-high four rebounds.

The 6-8 Griner finished a most impressive first half with 23 points, five rebounds and six blocked shots, pacing all players in each category. Pope chipped in eight points for Baylor during the stanza.

Liberty scored five of the second half's first seven points, pulling to within 49-26 with 18:16 remaining to play, when Warley made two free throws.

Baylor roared back with nine straight points, bolstering its advantage to 58-26 on Griner's near dunk at the 14:37 mark.

Liberty got no closer than 30 the rest of the night, and Baylor went on to claim an 81-42 decision. It was the Lady Flames' worst setback since Nov. 21, 2005, when Liberty lost by an 87-36 margin at No. 7/8 North Carolina.

The Bears became the first team to shoot over 50 percent from the field against Liberty this season, ending up at 54.4 percent (31-of-57) for the night. Meanwhile, the Lady Flames finished at 31.4 percent (16-of-51) from the floor.

An opportunistic Baylor team tallied 44 points in the paint, 34 points off of Liberty's 24 turnovers and 20 fast break points.

Led by Griner, the Bears also outrebounded the lady Flames, 38-28. However, Liberty came up with 13 offensive boards, which led to 11 second-chance points.

Playing in front of a sizeable contingent of friends and family in her home state, Frazier paced the Lady Flames' scoring attack with eight points, including a pair of triples. Post players Beecher and Warley chipped in six points each.

Omotola, another Lone Star State native, led the Lady Flames with five rebounds on the evening.

Griner's seven blocked shots equaled the most ever by a Liberty opponent. Her performance was complemented well by those of Bear newcomers Odyssey Sims and Pope.

Sims finished with 12 points and three assists, while Pope added 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and a game-high three steals.

Liberty will wrap up the month of November with a Tuesday evening home game against Glenville State at the Vines Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. for the Lady Flames' last home contest until Jan. 17. After Tuesday's game, Liberty will play its next nine tilts away from Lynchburg.

Meanwhile, Baylor will continue its seven-game homestand Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern, when Southeastern Louisiana visits the Ferrell Center.