Aggies Fall in Big 12 Championship Title Game

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KANSAS CITY, MO -- The top-ranked Lady Bears used a season-high 26 points from Odyssey Sims to offset a quiet game by Brittney Griner, her All-American teammate, and Baylor earned a 73-50 victory over No. 22/14 Texas A&M to wrap up its second straight championship and fourth overall.

Griner finished with a season-low 11 points and three rebounds, while Destiny Williams had 12 points and 11 boards. Jordan Madden contributed 10 points.

Sydney Carter had 12 points to lead Texas A&M (22-10), which played its third straight game without top scorer Tyra White. She's been hampered by her left foot and coach Gary Blair elected to rest her for the NCAA tournament rather than risk any more damage against Baylor.

The defending national champion, Texas A&M became the first school in league history to make five straight Big 12 tournament title game appearances. The Aggies won the title in 2008 and 2010.
Griner had been dominant through the Lady Bears' (34-0) first two games in Kansas City, piling up a tournament-record 45 points in a semifinal victory over Kansas State. But she struggled against Texas A&M's physical post play and was held to 3-for-8 shooting from the floor.

Sims took advantage of the open space caused by the collapsing defense to go 9 of 15 from the field. She also had five rebounds, four steals and three assists.

The Lady Bears got off to a strong start at both ends of the court.
Griner had all five of her first-half points during a 14-0 run to start the game, while the Baylor defense forced the Aggies into three turnovers and six straight misses.

Kelsy Bone finally scored inside with 14:27 left in the half for Texas A&M's first points of the game, but Sims promptly hit a 3-pointer at the other end to make it 17-2.

Oddly enough, it was Baylor that suddenly got rattled.
Williams was hit with a technical foul for her role in a loose-ball scrum, part of a four-point trip down floor for Texas A&M. The Aggies rattled off 11 consecutive points to climb back into the game, drawing within 21-13 on a jumper by Cierra Windham.

The teams mostly traded baskets into halftime, and the 15-point lead Texas A&M spotted the defending Big 12 champs in the opening minutes wound up being the difference at the break.

Sims paced the Lady Bears with 11 points, but it was Griner's ineffectiveness and the Aggie defense that kept A&M close. She was just 2 for 5 from the field and managed two rebounds against Bone, who either fronted her in the post or physically pushed her off the block each time down floor.

Sims converted a three-point play in the opening minutes of the second half, and Baylor went on a 10-2 run.

Up next, A&M will learn its postseason fate when the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship field of 64 is announced on Monday, March 12 on ESPN at 6 p.m. (CT).

POSTGAME NOTES
• For the first time this season, Texas A&M used the starting lineup of Alexia Standish, Sydney Carter, Skylar Collins, Adaora Elonu and Karla Gilbert. A&M has used a different starting lineup in each Big 12 Championship game.
• Texas A&M is the first school in league history with five straight appearances in the title game.
• Texas A&M moves to 36-50 in the all-time series with Baylor and are 0-5 when playing Baylor in the Big 12 Championship.
• A&M moves to 2-3 all-time in the finals, 2-2 against the No. 1 seed and 15-14 overall in all Big 12 Championship games.
• The Aggies are 8-6 on national TV this season.
• A&M’s 27.9 shooting percentage and 50 points were each its second lowest this season.
• The Aggie bench outscored Baylor 28-9.
• A&M also outscored Baylor in second chance points 18-9 with a 17-14 edge in offensive boards.
• Blair is now 10-19 lifetime versus Baylor in his 27 years as a Division I head coach.
• With six rebounds today, Elonu moved into sixth place on the all-time list with 712.
• Bone scored in double figures for the 24th time this season and Carter for the 20th.
• Kelsey Bone was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team. She averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
• Carter and Standish each averaged 13.3 points per game in the championship. Carter added 4.7 assists per game and Standish shot 62 percent from beyond the arc.



 
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