Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

Deju vu: Griner dunks, Bears romp

DES MOINES, Iowa — Baylor was cruising, its reserves were waiting to check in and there seemed to be little excitement.

Then Brittney Griner got behind the Georgia Tech defense and everyone in the arena knew what could be coming.

The 6-foot-8 All-American didn't disappoint.

Griner threw down a two-handed dunk to cap a sensational performance, and the Bears stormed into the NCAA Tournament region finals for the third straight year with an 83-68 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Griner, who had 35 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, took a pass from Brooklyn Pope and soared in for her dunk with 6:29 left, swinging briefly on the rim for good measure.

"I wanted to get one in this game," said Griner, who was almost nonchalant about her crowd-pleasing play. "Brooklyn got me the ball, and I just went up and slammed it."

It was the second straight game in which Griner dunked and the seventh slam in a game of her college career. She's now tied with former Tennessee star Candace Parker, whose two dunks in NCAA Tournament play had been the most.

"Even though she dunks in warmups all the time, in the game it's just something that automatically just gets us fired up and really excited," Baylor's Odyssey Sims said. "I think we get more excited for her than she does for herself."

Destiny Williams added 18 on 9-for-10 shooting for the top-seeded Bears (37-0), who'll play second-seeded Tennessee in the region final Monday night.

Though her team was hopelessly behind at the time, Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph didn't feel Griner was rubbing it in with her dunk.

"It doesn't bother me," Joseph said. "I think she's great for the game."

Baylor took control with a 20-0 first-half run and never gave fourth-seeded Tech (26-9) a chance to answer.

TENN. 84, KANSAS 73: Sophomore Meighan Simmons scored 16 of her 22 off the bench in the second half, and the Volunteers rallied from a 14-point deficit in Des Moines to advance to their second straight region final and 25th in 31 years.

Glory Johnson added 18 points for the second-seeded Vols (27-8).

It was the 1,098th win for Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who announced in August she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, and has yet to commit to coaching next season.

"The first half we tend to get ourselves in a hole, but we fought back," said Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick. "I thought our bench was outstanding."

The 11th-seeded Jayhawks (21-13) fell to 0-3 in region semifinals.

DUKE 74, ST. JOHN'S 47: Shay Selby took charge in the second half to finish with 18 points and seven assists, leading the second-seeded Blue Devils (25-5) in the Fresno (Calif.) Region semifinals. Duke moved within one win of its first Final Four since 2006. Da'Shena Stevens scored 19 in her final game for the No. 3 seed Red Storm (24-10), which didn't have another player with more than six.

Women's Sweet 16 bracket

region semisregion finalsSemifinalsSemifinalsregion finalsregion semis
Today-SundayMondayApril 1April 1TuesdayToday-Sunday
DEs Moines reg.1Baylor (36-0)Notre Dame (32-3)1Raleigh region
about 2:30 today, ESPNabout 2:30 Sunday, ESPN2
4Georgia Tech (26-8) St. B'venture (31-3)5
Des Moines, IowaRaleigh, N.C.
11Kansas (21-12)Maryland (30-4)3
12:04 today, ESPN12:04 Sunday, ESPN
2Tennessee (26-8)Championship, April 3, 8:30 p.m. TV: ESPNTexas A&M (24-10)2
DenverDenver
Fresno region1Stanford (33-1)Connecticut (31-4)1Kingston region
about 11:30 tonight, ESPN24:34 Sunday, ESPN2
5South Carolina (25-9)Penn State (26-6)4
Fresno, Calif.Kingston, R.I.
3St. John's (24-9)Gonzaga (28-5)11
9:04 tonight, ESPNabout 7 Sunday, ESPN2
2Duke (26-5)Kentucky (27-6)2


Women's Sweet 16 bracket

region semisregion finalsSemifinalsSemifinalsregion finalsregion semis
Saturday-todayMon.-TuesdayApril 1April 1Mon.-TuesdaySaturday-today
DEs Moines reg.1Baylor 83Notre Dame (32-3)1Raleigh region
Baylor (37-0)about 2:30 today, ESPN2
4Georgia Tech 68 St. B'venture (31-3)5
7 Monday, ESPNRaleigh, N.C.
11Kansas 73Maryland (30-4)3
Tennessee (27-8)12:04 today, ESPN
2Tennessee 84Championship, April 3, 8:30 p.m. TV: ESPNTexas A&M (24-10)2
DenverDenver
Fresno region1Stanford (33-1)Connecticut (31-4)1Kingston region
late4:34 today, ESPN2
5South Carolina (25-9)Penn State (26-6)4
Fresno, Calif.Kingston, R.I.
3St. John's 47Gonzaga (28-5)11
Duke (25-5)about 7 tonight, ESPN2
2Duke 74Kentucky (27-6)2

Comments
Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

The Rays activated INF Brad Miller off the DL for Friday's game.Miller had been out 11 days due to a groin strain.To make room on the roster, they DFA'd INF/OF Brandon Snyder, who was called up on Tuesday.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

ST. PETERSBURG — Former Lakewood High coach Brian Bruch started each season with the same spiel. He cautioned his players about not becoming obsessed with a professional football career, reciting statistics to emphasize the difficult the odds o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce, whose nine-year tenure in Columbus came after one season as coach of the University of Tampa's now-defunct program, passed away earlier this morning at age 87.Mr. Bruce reportedly had been battling Alzhei...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

The Rays and Miami Marlins "are at a moment of reckoning" after histories of low attendance and an offseason in which they sold off many of their top players and were singled out by the MLB Players Association for failing to spend revenue-sharing mon...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

The NFL did the Bucs no favors with their 2018 schedule, Rick Stroud says, making them open at New Orleans, followed by home games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Plus, linebacker Kendall Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle, p...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

ST. PETERSBURG — An old friend is back in the lineup.The Kiwanis of Gulf Beaches Miracle League, which champions baseball for the physically and mentally challenged, returned with a flourish Saturday morning. We're better for it."This...
Updated: 5 hours ago