Sports

Griner dunks in No. 1 Baylor's rout of No. 9 Florida, 76-57

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Brittney Griner took a pass from a teammate, stepped toward the basket, stretched out her right arm and slammed the ball through.

Then the Baylor star reacted in typically modest fashion.

"I think my team got fired up a little bit more than me. I got a little bit more fired up, I think, on one of the blocks I had," Griner said. "But it definitely felt good throwing it down."

Griner became the second woman to dunk in an NCAA Tournament game Tuesday night, and top-seeded Baylor rolled to a 76-57 win over ninth-seeded Florida. The 6-foot-8 junior went nearly 12 minutes without scoring at the beginning of the game, but she finished with 25 points.

The highlight, of course, was Griner's dunk early in the second half.

"That wasn't just a barely-over-the-rim type of dunk. That was a monster dunk," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "I think Brittney is so conscious of people writing good or bad about the dunk, that she's scared to get excited sometimes and celebrate a dunk, because she's been written about in a negative way. I said, 'Honey, if I could dunk it, I'd do back flips down the floor.'"

Odyssey Sims added 14 points for Baylor (36-0). Azania Stewart led Florida (20-13) with 14.

Candace Parker of Tennessee dunked twice in an NCAA Tournament game in 2006 against Army. Griner's dunk was her first of the season and sixth of her career. Parker holds the career record with seven.

Baylor led 35-26 at halftime, but Griner was only beginning to assert herself. She scored eight points in the first half, including six in the final 3:56.

Griner began the second half with a turnaround and a layup. Then Kimetria Hayden came up with an offensive rebound near the basket and passed to an open Griner, who dunked for the first time since Feb. 19, 2011, at Texas Tech.

The Lady Bears led 41-28, although Florida didn't exactly crumble.

Griner went 8 of 14 from the field with nine rebounds and six blocks.

Lady dunkers

Baylor's Brittney Griner joined Candace Parker as the only women with dunks in an NCAA Tournament game. Historically, seven women have dunked in a college game:

Player

Ht.

School

Year

Georgeann Wells

6-7

West Virginia

1984

Charlotte Smith

6-0

North Carolina

1994

Michelle Snow

6-5

Tennessee

2000

Sancho Lyttle

6-4

Houston

2003

Candace Parker

6-4

Tennessee

2006

Sylvia Fowles

6-6

LSU

2007

Brittney Griner

6-8

Baylor

2011

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