Dec. 1, 2010

WACO, Texas (AP) - Brooklyn Pope had 20 points with 14 rebounds and got her three assists on baskets by Brittney Griner for second-ranked Baylor, which built a big lead and held off No. 16 Notre Dame 76-65 on Wednesday night.

Pope made a layup with 11:18 left that gave Baylor (8-1) its largest lead at 56-37. Notre Dame then scored 12 consecutive points in 79 seconds before Pope made a jumper.

Griner had 21 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. The preseason AP All-American had her fifth consecutive 20-point game - she averaged 29.8 points her previous four games.

Skylar Diggins had 21 points for Notre Dame (5-3), whose other losses this season were to eighth-ranked Kentucky and No. 13 UCLA.

It was the closest home game of the season for Baylor, which won its previous seven by an average margin of 42 points. The smallest margin had been a 26-point win over then-No. 25 Michigan State.

The Lady Bears, whose only loss was by one point at top-ranked Connecticut, appeared to be on the way to another lopsided home win when Pope's layup gave them a 19-point lead. But things changed quickly.

Diggins had two 3-pointers along with a steal and breakaway layup. Natalie Novosel, who finished with 12 points, had two free throws and a jumper, and the fast-scoring spurt got Notre Dame within 56-49 with 9:45 left.

Griner and Pope combined for Baylor's first 15 points, including an impressive 2-minute spurt after Notre Dame took its only lead on Diggins' 3-pointer that made it 7-6 with 14:42 left in the first half.

Griner made a tying free throw 20 seconds later, then Pope had a steal on a turnover by Diggins and drove for a layup that put Baylor ahead to stay.

Pope then rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Diggins and worked the ball to Griner for an inside basket. Pope made a jumper of her own before another pass inside to Griner to make it 15-9, leading to an immediate timeout by Notre Dame.

Kimetria Hayden had 14 points for Baylor, including a 7-0 run of her own late in the first half when she hit a 3-pointer before back-to-back steals for layups that extended the lead to 36-19.

Odyssey Sims added 11 points for the Lady Bears and Melissa Jones scored all of her 10 points after halftime.

Baylor is 123-9 in non-conference games in 11 seasons under coach Kim Mulkey, and 151-19 at home.

Notre Dame won three consecutive games in a tournament at home last weekend, which came after consecutive losses to UCLA and Kentucky in a four-day span.