For the first time in history, a college basketball team has gone 40-0. The Baylor Bears, led by their star Brittney Griner, beat Notre Dame 80-61 to win the women’s National Championship.
Baylor had led by six at halftime. Notre Dame was able to cut the lead to three with 15:09 left in the 2nd half, but then the wheels came off. They were outscored by 16 the rest of the way. Notre Dame had stayed in the game for the first 25+ minutes thanks to poor shooting by Baylor, but once the Bears started making shots it was over. Baylor made all 3 of their 2nd half 3-point attempts, after shooting 1-8 in the first half.
Brittney Griner scored 17 of her 26 in the 2nd half. And she added 13 boards and 5 blocks. This, despite Notre Dame (35-4) using every defense in the book to stop her. They changed so much that announcer Doris Burke called out the Irish defense on just about every possession. And whatever defense they were running, it was designed to keep Brittney Griner from touching the ball.
But even double-teaming Griner at all times couldn’t keep her from dominating, and Griner led the Bears to their 2nd ever National Title. It was the 2nd straight loss in the championship game for the Fighting Irish.
Griner has already stated that she’s coming back for her senior season. But she’s also made it known that her dream is to play for the L.A. Sparks, and the Sparks happen to have the 1st pick in this year’s draft.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.