February 19, 2013 in Sports

Griner leads Baylor past UConn

Doug Feinberg Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Connecticut’s Kelly Faris (34), Stefanie Dolson, right, and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (23) pressure Baylor’s Brittney Griner, center, who tallied her 3,000th point.
(Full-size photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Brittney Griner scored 25 points, including the 3,000th of her career, to help No. 1 Baylor rally past third-ranked Connecticut 76-70 on Monday night, extending the Lady Bears’ winning streak to 23 games.

Griner became the eighth player in Division I history to reach the milestone, doing it on two free throws with 1:05 left. She finished with 21 points in the second half.

“Just got more aggressive,” Griner said. “Coach told me I need to be more aggressive in the paint, go to the goal, so that’s what I did.”

The defending national champion Lady Bears’ only loss this season came in Hawaii against Stanford back in November. Baylor (25-1) went 40-0 last season en route to the school’s second national title.

Baylor led 54-53 midway through the second half before Griner took over. She scored seven points during a quick burst, and her putback made it 67-61 with 5 minutes left.

UConn rallied behind Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis to make it a 67-65, but Griner answered with a putback. Then she hit the two milestone free throws 1:30 later to make it 73-67 and seal the win.

“It’s always good to give yourself a gauge of what you need to work on,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “I told them at halftime, it’s been a long time since we’ve had to execute on offense. We’re so athletic and so good and so talented, we just go play basketball. But against good teams who play great defensively, you must execute. And we needed to do some things better in the second half.”

Griner passed LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State to move into eighth on the women’s career scoring list. The last player to reach 3,000 points was Connecticut forward Maya Moore, who was in attendance Monday night.

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