“We tried to stick to our game plan, but Brittney got a couple catches,” Campbell said. “I think that’s the difference. “She caught the ball and shot it. You can’t do much when the ball is in her hands.”
Griner, Baylor’s 6-foot-8 senior center, scored 15 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, blocked seven shots and added five assists to lead No. 1-ranked Baylor in an 86-64 rout of Oklahoma inside Lloyd Noble Center.
Baylor held a comfortable 21-6 eight minutes into the game, when Griner had already racked up six points, six boards and two blocks.
Around that point, officials charged Griner with her second foul, causing Baylor coach Kim Mulkey to yank her from the game.
With the two-time All-American center relegated to the bench for the final 12 minutes of the first half, Oklahoma (19-9 overall, 9-7 Big 12) outscored Baylor 24-16 and trailed by seven at the break.
The Sooners had actually narrowed the deficit to four at one point late in the first half, but committed three straight turnovers that created a 6-0 Baylor run.
“We had some really good looks; obviously you have to capitalize on that,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. “But I think we got a lot out of that time. We had it at four, and three chances to cut it to two, and just weren’t able to connect on really good looks.
“You go in at halftime down seven, and you’re still in a really good spot.”
Baylor (27-1, 16-0 Big 12) emerged from halftime — with Griner — and began the second half on a 10-0 scoring run, during which the center blocked a shot, scored five points and hauled in three rebounds.
“I sat out most of the first half, so I’m glad I came out in the second half and started off strong and attacking, just doing something to give my team a spark,” Griner said.
In total, Oklahoma outscored the Bears 32-22 with Griner on the bench, but were outscored 64-32 when she was active.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was quick to point out, though, that Griner wasn’t her only player in foul trouble; as a team, the Bears were called for 11 first-half fouls, compared to only five in the second.
“Brittney’s the biggest factor, but she’s not the only factor,” Mulkey said. “I thought on the defensive end, we continued to foul. On the offensive end, we were missing shots. I thought we were pressing some, trying to make things happen.”
Junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg led the Sooners with 19 points; Morgan Hook, Campbell and Nicole Griffin added 15, 14 and 12, respectively in the loss, which was Oklahoma’s fourth of its last five games.
The Sooners return to action at home Saturday against Kansas, and then wrap up their regular-season slate next Monday at Texas Tech.
“Hallelujah,” Coale sang when asked about her squad’s four-day break. “It’s been a rigorous eight days. It would be tough for any team, but especially a team whose roster is as small as ours is now. ... We’ll take a big gulp of air and get ready for the final month of the season.”