With an 80-61 victory over Notre Dame, Baylor became the first team in the history of women’s or men’s college basketball to finish the season with a 40-0 record. Although Notre Dame fought valiantly to keep the game close through the first 30 minutes, they ultimately proved no match for one of the most dominant teams – and players – in women’s college basketball history.
Baylor junior Brittney Griner led the Bears to the school’s second national title with another incredible performance. The 6’8″ AP Player of the Year recorded game-highs of 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots. Sophomore guard Odyssey Sims also produced a quality all-around game, with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Notre Dame, as usual, was led by All-American guard Skylar Diggins, who scored a team-high 20 points. But two key members of the Irish’s supporting cast chose the wrong night to have terrible performances, as Natalie Novosel missed all 11 of her field goal attempts and finished with just 5 points, while Devereaux Peters saw only limited time on the floor due to heavy foul trouble. She picked up two personal fouls before the first television time-out of the night, and finished with only 7 points.
Like so many other of Baylor’s opponents, Notre Dame’s offense was thrown completely out of sync thanks mostly to the presence of the 6’8″ Griner. The Irish shot only 35.5% from the field – with most of their attempts coming from the perimeter – and were outrebounded by a wide margin of 45-24. Notre Dame lost in the national championship game for the second year in a row, after being upended by Texas A&M last season.
Dave Ryan, Debbie Antonelli and Krista Blunk called the action on the Westwood One Radio Network.