Published February 09, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas freshman Imani McGee-Stafford stood toe-to-toe with Baylor's Brittney Griner, outrebounding her and nearly matching her points.
She also got a lesson that the top-ranked Lady Bears are a lot more than just their standout forward.
"She didn't just murder me," McGee-Stafford said.
No, but Griner sidestepped the freshman to drive the lane to her 13th career-dunk, a slam that came early in game-clinching second-half run that spurred Baylor to a 75-48 victory Saturday night.
Odyssey Sims scored 18 points and Jordan Madden scored 11 points for Baylor (22-1, 12-0 Big 12) on a night Griner struggled offensively with 14 points and just three rebounds, none on offense.
Defensively, Griner had eight blocks and said she was impressed by McGee-Staffords' presence in the post. Griner is 6-foot-8. McGee-Stafford is 6-7.
"Over the course of her career, I see her becoming a great player," Griner said.
"Brittney Griner for me is like a human measuring stick," McGee-Stafford said. "In high school I got compared to her a lot."
There was little else to compare the teams on the court.
Texas (9-13, 2-9) simply couldn't match Baylor's talent and depth throughout the lineup. Sims and the Lady Bear guards routinely picked the ball from the Longhorns, backtracked to shut down Texas fast breaks and seemed to grab every loose ball.
Simms, Madden and Kimitrea Hayden led a defensive effort that forced 25 turnovers, 15 in the first half
"I have two freshmen guards who ran the point tonight against a seasoned veteran (Sims) who is the best point guard in the country," first-year Texas coach Karen Aston said. "It was a chore for use to get the ball down the court."
Texas freshman guard Empress Davenport scored 13 points.
Griner, played only nine minutes in the first half with foul trouble, but finally shook things up with her dunk in the second.
Baylor led 46-37 when Griner took an inbound pass near the free throw line, dribbled once around McGee-Stafford and easily went to the basket unchecked for a casual two-handed slam. Hayden finished a fast break layup on the next Baylor possession.
The dunk came early in a 21-4 Baylor run the pushed the Lady Bears' lead to 62-41 with 8:18 left to play.
"It gave us some energy," Griner said. "It got us pumped up to keep making a run."
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said she left Griner on the bench for most of the first half to force her team to play without her. When asked to compare this year's team to the one that went undefeated and won last season's national championship, Mulkey said, "more depth."
"When she goes out, it shows we can go on without her," Sims said.