Missouri coach Robin Pingeton calls to her team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) By Tony Gutierrez
Baylor forward Brooklyn Pope (32) reaches back for a rebound against Missouri forward Shakara Jones (44) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) By Tony Gutierrez
WACO, Texas (AP) -- Brittney Griner had 22 points and five blocked shots as third-ranked Baylor clinched the Big 12 title with an 84-52 victory over Missouri on Wednesday night.
Brooklyn Pope added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Bears (27-2, 14-1), who won their second Big 12 title. The other was in 2004-05, their national championship season.
While the song "Celebration" blared over the speakers, Baylor president Ken Starr helped present the Big 12 champoinship trophy. When the Lady Bears were cutting down the nets, the 6-foot-8 Griner lay on the floor and spread her arms wide to make an angel figure in the multicolored confetti that fell from the rafters when the game ended.
The Lady Bears' win clinched a share of the title, and they won it outright a few minutes after their game when fifth-ranked Texas A&M lost 71-67 at Kansas State.
Baylor was without senior Melissa Jones in what would been her last regular-season home game. The Lady Bears were up 12-0 only 4 minutes into the game, including two 3-pointers by Jordan Madden and two baskets by Griner.
Jones hit her head diving for a loose ball in a win Sunday at Oklahoma. She has swelling around the optic nerve in her right eye that is affecting her vision. Whitney Zachariason, Baylor's only other senior, started in her place and had 10 rebounds.
It was only the second career start for Zachariason. Jones has started 63 games in her Baylor career.
RaeShara Brown had 17 points for Missouri (12-17, 4-11), and Shakara Jones has 10.
Griner missed a dunk but made her first career 3-pointer, from the top of the key with just under 6 minutes left to give Baylor a 77-39 lead.
Kimetria Hayden and Odyssey Sims had 13 points each for Baylor while Madden had 11.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)