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Griner dunks, swats Bears to victory

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Brittney Griner had her fourth career dunk on the way to 26 points and blocked eight shots to singlehandedly overwhelm Kansas State defensively, lifting No. 15 Baylor to a 65-47 victory over the Wildcats on Wednesday night.

Griner dominated defensively by swatting shots and forcing Kansas State (11-10, 3-4) away from the basket to give Baylor (16-5, 3-4 Big 12) its first true road win since beating California on Nov. 22. She broke the Big 12 single-season record for blocks in a season with 122 and set a Bramlage Coliseum record for blocks by an opponent.

The 6-foot-8 freshman took over offensively in the second half, scoring 17 points, including one-handed dunk on a putback with just under 5 minutes left. She also dunked against Jacksonville State in November and had two more against Texas State last month.

The dunk was the highlight, but Griner changed the game defensively.

First the blocks. She swatted one into Baylor's bench early, another over the photographers over the baseline. One in the second half against Brittany Chambers nearly bounced back up to the rim off the floor and Griner also got Ashley Sweat without leaving her feet.

Griner broke the Bramlage Coliseum record with her seventh block midway through the second half and blew past the Big 12 record of 119, set by Oklahoma's Courtney Paris in 36 games in 2005-06.

Of course, it shouldn't be much of a surprise; Griner has more blocked shots than all but 11 of the 332 Division I teams.

More than the swats, she took Kansas State out of its offense. The Wildcats spent most of the night swinging the ball around the perimeter, unable and sometimes unwilling to get to ball inside against the long-armed center.

Sweat was the only one to have much success, using quick shots and fadeaways against Griner on her way to 22 points. She was the only one double figures for Kansas State, which shot 30 percent.

Griner made it look easy at times on offense, often shooting over the smaller Wildcats, who had no chance of blocking her shots. She scored six straight points to key a short run early in the second half, then hit a jumper and powered through for a three-point play that put the Bears 56-41 with 8 minutes left.

Griner just missed a one-handed dunk in a halfcourt set with 7 minutes left, then rocked the rim with the one-hander two minutes later. She finished 9 of 18 from the floor and had seven rebounds.