Texas women lose 80-59 at No. 1 Baylor
WACO, Texas – Texas is still the last team to beat the top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears on their home court.
That was nearly two years ago.
Struggling with their shot from the beginning, the Longhorns never gave themselves a chance to win in Waco again. Baylor clinched the outright Big 12 title with an 80-59 victory Tuesday night.
"I think they proved once again why they're the No. 1-ranked team in the country," Longhorns coach Gail Goestenkors said. 'We did some things defensively that bothered them initially, but they did what they always do. They adjust. Once they figured it out, they went on a run. They obviously, even when their shots weren't falling early, they found a way. That's what great teams do."
Baylor (28-0, 15-0 Big 12) jumped out to a 15-3 lead in the first 7 minutes of the game. The Lady Bears never trailed after Brittney Griner opened the scoring with a layup only 31 seconds into the game.
With their 39th consecutive home victory, the Lady Bears matched fifth-ranked Miami for the second-longest active streak. Second-ranked Stanford has won 76 in a row at home.
Their last home loss was 70-54 against the Longhorns on March 7, 2010.
Texas has lost six of its last eight games and slipped to ninth place it the Big 12 with three regular-season games left.
"We already talked about (regrouping) in the locker room after the game," said Yvonne Anderson, who led Texas with 16 points. "We kind of have to let this one go. ... There's nothing about this game we can change now."
Chassidy Fussell had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Texas. Chelsea Bass had 11 points and Ashleigh Fontenette 10.
Griner, the 6-foot-8 junior phenom who played in her 100th game at Baylor, had 18 points and 10 rebounds for her 40th career double-double.
Kimetria Hayden had 17 points in 21 minutes for the Lady Bears. Destiny Williams had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Bears had clinched a share of the Big title with a win over Texas Tech on Saturday night, when they cut down the nets and got championship T-shirts for their second consecutive Big 12 regular season title, and third overall.
After beating Texas to ensure they wouldn't have to share the title, the reaction was much more subdued, especial after guard Shanay Washington sustained another knee in jury in the closing seconds.
"It's a big downer, a big downer," coach Kim Mulkey said. "You just won a conference championship outright, you clinched it, you played dominating, everybody played. And to have something like that happen in the last seconds of the game, life's not fair."
Washington, who returned just a month ago from a torn ACL in her left knee after playing only five games last season, crumbled to the floor with 16 seconds left after contesting a shot. The sophomore guard grabbed the bulky brace protecting her knee and could be heard crying as the home crowd went silent.
Baylor jumped out to a 15-3 lead in the first 7 minutes.
The only points for the Longhorns in that opening spurt came on Fussell's 3-pointer from the right wing 2½ minutes into the game. They then missed eight shots in a row over the next five minutes before Fussell finally made a jumper.
After Brooklyn Pope's strong move inside for a layup with 10:35 left in the first half put the Lady Bears up 18-7, they maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
Three Texas starters were scoreless at halftime, when the Longhorns trailed 40-20 and were shooting only 21 percent (8 of 39), doing their best to avoid Griner. They finished shooting 34 percent (25 of 73).
"I feel like we came in timid," Fussell said. "And she's so tall and blocks so many shots."