Brittney Griner and the Baylor Lady Bears completed their pitching of a perfect 40-0 season last night, as they defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 80-61 in the women’s national championship game.
Griner, only a junior and already arguably the most dominant NCAAW player of all-time, finished the game with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Odyssey Sims chipped in 19 points and 4 assists of her own. For Notre Dame, who was appearing in their second title game in as many years, junior guard Skylar Diggins scored 20 points.
If both Griner and Diggins decide to forgo the WNBA draft to return to school—both girls have said they plan to do just that—we could witness a rematch in the title game next season.
For now, here’s more on last night’s championship, courtesy of Statesman.com:
Baylor validated itself as the undisputed champion of women’s basketball and Brittney Griner sealed her legacy as the sport’s most dominant player.
Griner scored 26 points and had 13 rebounds on Tuesday night, and point guard Odyssey Sims ignited a second-half offensive explosion as the Lady Bears defeated Notre Dame 80-61 in the championship game, to become the first NCAA team to go 40-0.
The victory before 19,028 fans at the Pepsi Center makes Baylor a two-time NCAA women’s basketball champion, complementing its 2005 national title.
With the game secured, coach Kim Mulkey removed her starters, giving bear hugs to Griner and Sims, who carried the Lady Bears through some tense early moments.
Griner, the only player in NCAA history with 2,000 points and 500 blocks, scored 17 of her points in the second half, adding five blocked shots.
“It’s sad that people think you have to win a championship to be validated (as an athlete) but that’s the society we live in,” Mulkey said. “Even if she didn’t score a point she would have made her presence known by the defense she plays. If she doesn’t go down as the greatest post player of all time, she’ll go down as one of the best.”