Baylor routs Florida State, 85-47

Dunk. - USA TODAY Sports

The line stretched around the Ferrell Center an hour before the doors opened for the second round of NCAA play, where the Baylor Lady Bears took on the Florida State Seminoles for the chance to advance on to Oklahoma City and the Sweet Sixteen. Seats filled quickly in the hour before the game, and a near-sellout crowd cheered on the Lady Bears effort to win no. 56 in a row at home.

Baylor fans didn't have to wait long for Brittney Griner to throw down her 16th career dunk, as she brought the Ferrell Center to their feet in the 16th minute of the first half, extending Baylor's lead to 43-18. She showed off her defensive prowess as well, bringing nearly as many cheers with an impressive block of Leonor Rodriguez a few plays before that, and recorded a double-double at the half with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Griner went on to dunk two more times, a record for any NCAA WBB game ever, extending her career record to 18 with at least one game left to play. She finished with 33 points, 22 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists, and a steal, and left her final game at the Ferrell Center with 6 minutes left in the second half to thunderous applause.

Odyssey Sims scored the first points of the game for the Lady Bears, sparking a 11-0 run to start the game, a lead which Baylor would never relinquish. Sims finished with 11 points and 4 assists to go with 2 uncharacteristic turnovers. Brooklyn Pope scored 12 with 6 rebounds in her last game in the Ferrell Center, playing 22 minutes. Nae-Nae Hayden added 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 10 points, while fellow senior Jordan Madden pulled down 7 rebounds and scored 8 points.

Baylor's bench contributed as well, with Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year Destiny Williams grabbing 2 rebounds and scoring 4 points, while freshman point guard Niya Johnson had 5 assists, including being on the score sheet for 2 of Griner's 3 dunks.

Despite their early commanding lead, the Lady Bears appeared almost nervous in the first 15 minutes of the game, throwing away the ball several times. Their passing remained a weak point throughout the game, leading to 19 turnovers against Florida State's 9. Baylor's defense did hold the Seminoles to 26.1% shooting, while shooting 56.9% on the offensive side. The Lady Bears were also 4 of 9 from behind the arc, and held the Seminoles to 3 for 11 attempts.

The Lady Bears will travel to Oklahoma City this weekend to face 5-seed Louisville on March 31st at a time yet to be decided.

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