No. 3 BAYLOR 73, No. 5 NOTRE DAME 61
By TOM COYNE
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Brittney Griner had 24 points and 14 rebounds, three other Baylor players scored in double figures and the third-ranked Lady Bears beat No. 5 Notre Dame 73-61 Wednesday night in a repeat of last season’s national championship game.
The Fighting Irish could do little to slow Griner, who was 10 of 16 from the floor. The Lady Bears (7-1), with all five starters back from the team that went 40-0 last season, used a 10-0 run late in the second half to pull away.
The Irish (5-1), with just two starters back, were simply no match, especially with All-America senior Skylar Diggins struggling on 4-of-19 shooting – with rapper Lil Wayne sitting courtside to cheer her on in the second half.
Odsyssey Sims returned after missing four games with a hamstring injury and added 16 points for Baylor. Brooklyn Pope had 14 points and Jordan Madden 12.
Freshman Jewell Loyd led Notre Dame with a season-high 24 points, Kayla McBride had 16 and Natalie Achonwa 11.
The Lady Bears dominated inside, outscoring the Irish 36-26 in the paint and outrebounding them 44-35. Baylor also held the Irish to 36-percent shooting while making 49 percent of its shots.
Baylor led 33-27 at the half, the same six-point margin the Bears led by at halftime in the championship game.