Feb. 13, 2010
AMES, Iowa (AP) -For one day at least, Baylor’s standout freshman post player was no match for Iowa State’s three first-year centers.
Freshmen Amanda Zimmerman, Anna Prins and Chelsea Poppens all came up with big games and helped contain Baylor’s 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner as the No. 20 Cyclones routed the 11th-ranked Lady Bears 69-45 on Saturday.
Zimmerman scored a career-high 15 points and the 6-7 Prins added 13 with three of Iowa State’s 16 3-pointers. The hustling Poppens grabbed 14 rebounds, handed out three assists and made two steals.
“Brittney Griner is the most unique player in the country,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “But I think the three freshmen Iowa State post players did their part. We pushed them really hard. I think today you saw what they could do in an environment that’s really tough.”
Iowa State (19-4, 7-3 Big 12) controlled Griner with a collapsing zone and beat the Lady Bears (17-7, 4-6) for the first time since 2004. Griner, coming off two straight triple-doubles, managed only 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Kelsey Bolte hit four 3-pointers and added 14 points for Iowa State, which finished 16 of 33 from long range to match its season high for 3s. The Cyclones’ Alison Lacey put together a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.
“They hit some remarkable shots,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “It was one of those days when everything went for them.”
By sagging on Griner, the Cyclones dared Baylor to beat them from the perimeter and the Lady Bears couldn’t do it. They made only four of 16 3-point shots and shot just 32.7 percent overall.
Iowa State, meanwhile, just kept rolling. The Cyclones built a 21-point lead in the first half, led by 20 at halftime and were up by 31 in the second half.
Griner, held to four points and four rebounds in the opening half, was the only Baylor player who scored in double figures and never came close to getting a chance to add to her season total of four dunks.
“It’s kind of a team effort,” Bolte said of the Cyclones’ defense. “We really sagged off in the post a lot. It showed in the stat sheet how good defensively our post players were.”
Shanay Washington and Lindsay Palmer each scored nine for the Lady Bears, who fell to 1-5 in Big 12 road games. The 45 points were a season low for Baylor, which had been averaging 75.3.
“I thought the tone for our game was set when we got the first possession and shot an airball wide open,” Mulkey said. “From there, it went downhill. I don’t think we were ever in the game.”
Prins set the tone for the Cyclones by going aggressively at Griner. She hit a 3 over the Baylor intimidator from the top of the key, scored on a quick turnaround against her, then knocked down another 3 from the top of the key while Griner was under the basket.
When Prins drew a foul while scoring inside, Iowa State led 18-5. Lacey followed with a long 3 after two offensive rebounds and Zimmerman got a bucket inside, putting ISU up 23-5.
Baylor started 1 for 7 with four airballs. Griner didn’t get her first rebound until the 12:38 mark and she didn’t score until sinking two free throws with 8:54 left in the half. By the time she got her first basket, a layup at the 6:38 mark after Prins fell down, Iowa State was up 20.
“Every game it’s two or three players, sometimes it seems like they send the whole team on me,” Griner said. “You just kind of get used to it.”
Iowa State had assists on its first 20 baskets and finished with 23 assists on 25 field goals.
The Cyclones were so efficient that when they held the ball for the final shot of the first half, reserve Whitney Williams knocked down a 3 just before the buzzer, making it 38-18. Earlier, Lacey inbounded the ball from the baseline, stepped onto the court, took a return pass and buried a 3.
A 12-2 run that included two more 3s by Williams early in the second half stretched the lead to 53-24, quashing any hopes the Lady Bears had of a comeback. The lead grew to 63-32 on Zimmerman’s third 3-pointer of the game with 7:01 left.
“Start to finish, offense and defense, it was the best 40 minutes we played all year,” Fennelly said. “It came at a great time. When you’re making shots, life is really good.”
Baylor lost a key player when freshman Jordan Madden crashed to the floor going for a rebound with 6:01 remaining in the first half. Madden, averaging 5.6 points and 2.1 rebounds, was helped to the locker room with what appeared to be an injury to her right leg and did not return.