MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Brittney Griner scored 29 points in another dominating performance, and No. 1 Baylor cruised to a 70-41 victory over Kansas State on Saturday night to keep its perfect season intact.
Destiny Williams added 14 points and Odyssey Sims finished with 13 for the Lady Bears (23-0, 10-0 Big 12), who extended the best start in school history in easy fashion.
It’s the second-best start in conference history behind former member Nebraska, which won its first 30 games during the 2009-10 season. Ninth-ranked Green Bay is still the only other Division I women’s program that has yet to lose this season.
Brittany Chambers had 10 points for Kansas State (15-7, 6-3), though she was just 3 of 11 from the field. Mariah White also had 10 points.
The 6-foot-8 Griner has been a menace all season against smaller teams, coupling her height advantage with a deft touch around the basket, and that played out again Saturday night.
The league’s leading scorer pushed her career total to 2,020, making her the fourth player in school history to eclipse 2,000 points. Griner also became the first player in Division I women’s basketball to break that barrier while also recording at least 500 rebounds.
The Wildcats’ plan seemed to be the exact opposite of every other team to face Baylor this season: force Griner to beat them by denying everyone else a shot.
It was working early on, too.
Baylor’s offense looked disjointed and at times downright inept. By the time Chambers hit a 3-pointer with 8:25 left in the first half, the plucky Wildcats had a 19-13 lead.
The rest of the Lady Bears finally got on track after Griner scored with 8:01 remaining, the start of what turned out to be a 20-5 run into halftime.
Williams converted a pair of three-point plays 90 seconds apart, then added another bucket a couple minutes later. Sims added a basket as the half wound down, silencing a sellout crowd that had taken advantage of dollar tickets to see the game at Bramlage Coliseum.
Griner had 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the first half.
She added two more points less than a minute into the second half, and Baylor began pouring on the offense with the kind of play that’s become familiar to folks in the Big 12.
The Lady Bears scored the first six points out of halftime, and after White and Branshea Brown managed baskets for Kansas State, Baylor scored 10 more. Griner had four during the 5-minute spurt, and Sims hit a 3-pointer and Williams a jumper for a 53-28 lead.
Kansas State coach Deb Patterson hardly had enough timeouts to slow the momentum.
Baylor put it on cruise control the final 10 minutes, well on its way to another blowout win over Kansas State. The Wildcats have dropped 13 straight to Baylor, including a 76-41 defeat last month in Waco. Their last win in the series came on Jan. 27, 2004.
Kansas State also has lost all five of its games against No. 1 teams in Manhattan, though Baylor’s trip was the first since top-ranked Wayland Baptist visited on Jan. 11, 1977.
The K-State women will look to rebound on the road in College Station, Texas, on Wednesday when they take on defending national champion Texas A&M (16-5, 7-3). Coverage on KMAN begins at 6:30 p.m. Tip-off from Reed Arena is set for 7 p.m.