POSTED: 04:30 p.m. HST, Nov 16, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 08:10 p.m. HST, Nov 16, 2012
Defending NCAA women's basketball national champion Baylor fell in a 71-69 stunner to No. 4 Stanford today in the opener of the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The top-ranked Lady Bears (2-1), unbeaten all of last season en route to a record 40-0 record and national championship, trailed most of the way but took a narrow lead in the final five minutes.
Returning national player of the year Brittney Griner was limited to four points in the first half by double and triple teams. She erupted in the second period and finished with 22 points, but missed a game-tying 8-footer from the left baseline on an inbounds play with 4.2 seconds left, bringing her team's 42-game winning streak — fifth-best all-time in the sport — to an end.
"They were well-coached," Griner said. "They had a great game plan. They just doubled. They had a game plan to double me, and they stuck with it."
Preseason All-American Chiney Ogwumike (team-high 18 points) scored on a reverse layup against Griner with 22 seconds to play, making it 70-66.
Baylor's Destiny Williams answered with a top-arc 3 with 9.7 seconds left, and the Bears fouled to send Toni Kokenis to the free-throw line.
Kokenis made one of two for a two-point lead, and Baylor drove upcourt and called timeout. Out of the break, the Bears lobbed it to Griner in on the block, but she came up short on her baseline shot and no one cleanly got the rebound in time. Stanford players mobbed each other on the Sheriff's center-court "H."
"This win was a great win, but essentially it's nothing," Ogwumike said. "It's November, it's just a record. So we want to finish this tournament on a high, but not too high."
Stanford (3-0) shot 7-for-14 on 3-pointers to 2-for-14 for Baylor.
"We haven't been in any (close, late-game) situations in almost 40 games," BU coach Kim Mulkey said. "You saw, we didn't respond very well."
The two teams were rematching last year's final four semifinal won in close fashion by Baylor.
Hawaii plays Tennessee-Martin in the day's second game at 5 p.m. UH plays Stanford on Saturday and Baylor on Sunday.