Brittney Griner Dunks as Baylor Advances Past Florida

by March 21, 2012

by Kelly Kline / @Fullcourtwbb

On Tuesday, Brittney Griner became just the second woman to dunk in Women’s NCAA Tournament history in the Baylor Bears’ 76-59 win over the Florida Gators to advance to the Sweet 16.

Griner went up strong from the second hash mark and put down a right-handed dunk with authority. The 6-8 junior finished with a game high 25 points and a sure spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10.

“I just caught it, palmed it and I just went up and threw it in,” said Griner in a post-game interview. Tennesee’s Candace Parker is the only other player to dunk in the Women’s NCAA Tournament.

After the game Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey had plenty to say about the dunk.

“That was pretty! That wasn’t a barely over the rim type of dunk, that was a monster dunk, and it fired me up,” 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, and I said, honey if I could dunk, I’d do back flips down the floor.”

Griner had not dunked yet this season, and despite her 6-8 frame, has only dunked five previous times in college. She dunked four times her freshman year and once her sophomore year against Texas Tech on February 9, 2011. Last night, the dry spell was broken with authority.

“I told her about two weeks ago, I said, Even if you miss it (a dunk), it sends a message, ‘I’m here to play,’” said Mulkey, who understands the pressure.

Griner was happy, but meek about the accomplishment: “It definitely felt good to throw it down. Definitely an honor, I’m happy.”

Griner dunked 52 times in 32 games as a high school senior. Griner set a single-game record with seven dunks against Aldine High School.

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