No. 1 Bears way too much for Cats

By The Mercury

DALLAS — Playing its fourth game in seven days with just seven healthy players, the Kansas State women’s basketball was unable to keep up with No. 1 Baylor on Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats, who beat Texas on Friday night, lost 80-47 Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship at the American Airlines Center.

This was the second meeting between the teams in the last six days.

Brittany Chambers led the Wildcats (15-17) with a game-high 21 points — all in the second half. The Wildcats’ leading scorer was 0 for 6 from the field before halftime.

Baylor (30-1) featured a balanced attack — led by Big 12 Player of the Year Brittney Griner, who nearly missed her second triple-double in a week. The Bears’ 6-foot-8 star finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks.

Griner’s effort came five days after she scored a Big 12-record 50 points and had a dunk in a win over the Wildcats in her final regular-season home game.

Bears’ senior Destiny Williams added 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Odyssey Sims with 10 points and seven assists.

The Bears raced out to a 37-9 first-half lead with less than 6 minutes to play. K-State coach Deb Patterson used all four 30-second timeouts in the first 11 minutes, the last when Sims hit a short jumper after a turnover for a 31-6 lead.

“It was a game in which you wished you had 10 timeouts, if you could use five in each half to break the tempo a little bit, especially early,” Patterson said. “They came out of the chute so hard.”

The Wildcats didn’t have a two-point basket before halftime, when Baylor led 45-18 after outscoring K-State 30-0 in the paint. The Wildcats had five 3-pointers, while going 0 for 9 from inside the arc in the first half. The Wildcats shot 29 percent for the game, and 12 of their 16 baskets were from long range.

Baylor would keep the Wildcats at bay in the second half, never letting its lead creep below 25 points.

K-State was within three points well into the second half of last week’s loss in Waco, but this was very different.

The Bears, who will play Oklahoma State in the semifinals today, repeatedly got easy buckets inside and out while shooting 68 percent in the first half and 58 for the game

K-State, which will now wait until March 18 to see if its selected to th WNIT, turned the ball over 13 times and was outrebounded 39-27. Baylor outscored the Wildcats 54-8 in the paint and capitalized on the K-State turnovers with an 18-3 edge on the scoreboard.

“We let them attack us in every aspect of the game, and were very passive,” said Chambers, who added seven rebounds. “Not taking open shots when we had them, but we really didn’t get a ton of open ones because we weren’t creating them for ourselves.”

Sophomore Haley Texada scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Wildcats, while Bri Craig added six points.

The field for the WNIT will be announced on March 18, following the announcement of the 2013 NCAA tournament field.

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