No. 4 Stanford upends Griner, No. 1 Baylor 71-69
HONOLULU (AP) — Chiney Ogwumike and her Stanford teammates remembered vividly the Final Four loss to Baylor in April. The Cardinal were determined not to let it happen again.
Ogwumike scored 18 points to help the fourth-ranked Cardinal end Baylor's 42-game winning streak with a 71-69 victory over the No. 1 Lady Bears on Friday night.
"We came in with a little bit of chip on our shoulders. We needed to play better than last time," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Playing a team like Baylor really helps you understand what you need to focus on."
Ogwumike received some advice before the game from her big sister Nneka, who graduated last Spring and was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft.
"My sister told me do not be afraid to attack her," Chiney Ogwumike said. "I knew the court was open — I like to pride myself on my quickness. If we're going to do this, you're going to go all out for it."
With Ogwumike scoring on offense and Stanford focused on Griner defensively, the Cardinal did just enough to pull off the upset.
Griner scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half, helping the Lady Bears rally from a 14-point deficit in the first half. A final shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim and Stanford celebrated the victory. It was the Lady Bears' first defeat since losing to Texas A&M in the regional finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament. Baylor went 40-0 last year.
"We got the ball in Griner's hands and that's what we would've liked," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said.
The Cardinal (3-0) who lost to Baylor in the national semifinals last season by 12 points. Ogwumike's reverse layup gave Stanford a four-point lead with 22 seconds left, after Joslyn Tinkle broke the tie with a layup with just under 1 minute.
Destiny Williams responded with the first 3-pointer of her career to pull Baylor (2-1) within one.
Toni Kokenis made one of two free throws. Baylor got the rebound and advanced the ball to halfcourt before calling timeout to set up the final play.
Griner caught the ball in the low block and with three players draped on her, the 6-foot-8 star's shot fell harmlessly off the rim setting off a wild celebration by the Cardinal at midcourt.
"We knew where the ball was going — it's a matter if we're able to make the play. It's hard to make a play on Griner," Ogwumike said. "You knew it was going to Griner and she was going to turn around and shoot."
Baylor's run was the fifth-longest winning streak in NCAA women's history. Stanford also ended UConn's NCAA record 90-game run in 2010.
Baylor was the heavy favorite to repeat as champion with their entire starting lineup back from last season. The Lady Bears cruised to an easy 89-51 victory over No. 6 Kentucky on Tuesday before heading to Hawaii for the three-game Rainbow Wahine tournament.
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