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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

KU women get one last go at Griner, Baylor

Brittney Griner, left, goes for a block as Kansas forward Carolyn Davis (21) tries to get a shot off during Kansas' game against Baylor, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Brittney Griner, left, goes for a block as Kansas forward Carolyn Davis (21) tries to get a shot off during Kansas' game against Baylor, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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The last time the Kansas University women’s basketball team faced top-ranked Baylor, KU coach Bonnie Henrickson listed everything the Jayhawks would have to do to have success against BU center Brittney Griner, the reigning national player of the year.

No drives. Make open jump shots. Box out. Play tough defense.

Although the underdog Jayhawks succeeded in some areas of their gameplan, Griner’s final line — 33 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks — told much of the story in the Bears’ 22-point victory on Jan. 13 at Allen Fieldhouse.

As is the case in most games she plays, the 6-foot-8 senior was by far the most dominant player on the floor. Despite the Bears’ owning a double-digit lead throughout most of the game, Griner played all 40 minutes and shot 14-of-24 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free throw line.

“I didn’t recruit ’em to sit,” said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey following the Bears’ 82-60 victory. “There was no need to rest Brittney; she was pretty much dominating the game.”

Griner does that. A lot. But the KU women — more than familiar with the Baylor star’s dominance after four seasons — think they know how to minimize the damage in tonight’s match-up at 7 in Waco, Texas.

“There’s not much you can do,” KU forward Carolyn Davis said. “At the end of the day, you have to try to limit the production of the players around her.”

The Jayhawks did a fair job of that in the first meeting. Only two other BU players reached double digits in scoring and, without Griner’s numbers, the Bears shot just 39 percent from the floor.

Unfortunately for the Jayhawks (14-6 overall, 5-4 Big 12), it’s Griner’s defense and presence around the basket that often have the biggest impact.

“If she’s in the paint anywhere, it’s not a drive and finish at the rim situation,” said Henrickson of Griner, who has 76 blocks this season. “You’re adding to her career blocks if you do that. Just the energy they get from her blocking shots and then they get out and run; they feed so much off of what she does.”

Despite the odds being stacked against them and the fact that Baylor (20-1, 10-0) now has seen KU’s gameplan to get Griner away from the bucket, which worked well in the first meeting, Henrickson said her team would be ready for the challenge.

“I’ve always been impressed by the excitement our guys have to be able to play someone at that level,” Henrickson said. “It’s one thing to be excited about the opportunity, but you have to be smart, too. You have to temper that enthusiasm and understand that you still have a gameplan.”

Added senior guard Angel Goodrich, whose late three-pointers kept KU alive in both of last week’s victories: “With a team like that, you have nothing to lose so you might as well just put everything on the line.”

Comments

big12ku 6 years, 2 months ago

With words like these, why even show up????

“There’s not much you can do,” KU forward Carolyn Davis said “With a team like that, you have nothing to lose so you might as well just put everything on the line.” Added senior guard Angel Goodrich No drives.“If she’s in the paint anywhere, it’s not a drive and finish at the rim situation,” said Henrickson

KU had one or two players that were/are not afraid to play Baylor IMO, nor drive in the
lane...How else do you attempt to get Baylor in foul trouble? It is not like KU has magnificent 3 point shooters, SMH

Yes Baylor and Griner and very dominant, but why lay down before the horn even goes off?

.

Jack Jones 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey,big > RELAX!! They aren't "laying down before the horn even goes off." Just stating the reality that comes with playing a team like Baylor > and re-stating what they have to do in order to WIN tonight's game. Suggest you focus on KU guard, Angel Goodrich's last sentence "WITH A TEAM LIKE THAT, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL JUST PUT EVERYTHING ON THE LINE."

Attitude adjustment > means everything, doesn't it?

big12ku 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey Jackdavid, I did relax !!!! Looks like the whole team did too. As a matter of fact, they were too relaxed. Can't win or prepare for battle if you are already defeated before you hit ground, and they surely played and looked the part. Was so upset by the showing that I turned my internet off before the game was over.

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