BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Brittney Griner banged a bit down low with her undersized opponents and blocked a few shots at the other end -- then headed to the sideline early in the second half.
Once again, Baylor didn't need its star to dominate.
Griner scored 14 points in only 22 minutes, and the top-seeded Lady Bears rolled to an 81-40 win over 16th-seeded UC Santa Barbara in the Des Moines Regional on Sunday. Brooklyn Pope scored 13 points and Destiny Williams added 12 for Baylor, which had 11 players log at least 12 minutes.
"I think the more rest you can get, the better, but make sure you get them enough minutes not to get out of rhythm," coach Kim Mulkey said. "I thought our kids worked up a sweat, and I thought they did some good stuff. We didn't have to show a lot of stuff -- and get them off the floor. We've actually done that a lot of late."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
Baylor (35-0) has not lost since falling in the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA Tournament. The Lady Bears will take on ninth-seeded Florida in the second round on Tuesday night.
Emilie Johnson scored 10 points for UCSB (17-16), but the Gauchos were as overmatched as expected.
UCSB's Kirsten Tilleman was physical with Griner and drew an early offensive foul on the 6-foot-8 star. The Gauchos at times had two defenders fronting Griner to prevent Baylor from passing her the ball, but other players took advantage for the Lady Bears.
Baylor's defense was stifling throughout. The Lady Bears scored the game's first 12 points, and the Gauchos struggled on several occasions to get a shot off before the shot clock expired.
Griner had an easier time finding space inside late in the first half, scoring back-to-back baskets. Then Odyssey Sims stole the ball from Johnson and went in for a layup to make it 41-14.
Sims scored 10 points but didn't start in what Mulkey called a "coach's decision."
"It's a very minor thing, but I'm from the old school, and you do things right," Mulkey said. "She knows why she didn't start. It's really not a big deal. Most coaches would have looked the other way, but it's all about teaching kids lessons."