published Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Baylor beats Notre Dame 80-61 for NCAA title

  • photo
    Baylor forward/center Destiny Williams (10) looks for a way around Notre Dame forward Markisha Wright (34) during the first half in the NCAA women's Final Four college basketball championship game, in Denver, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

DENVER — Brittney Griner came up big for Baylor, scoring 26 points and grabbing 13 rebounds to help the Lady Bears finish off an undefeated season with an 80-61 win over Notre Dame in the national championship game Tuesday night.

Baylor became the first team in NCAA history to win 40 games. Even more important to the Lady Bears, the team cut down the nets for the first time since 2005.

For the Fighting Irish (35-4), a second straight trip to the title game ended in heartbreak. They lost 76-70 to Texas A&M last season.

Odyssey Sims chipped in 19 for the Bears, while Destiny Williams added 12.

The Irish cut a sizable deficit to three points early in the second half, only to have Devereaux Peters called for an illegal screen, which was her fourth foul. With Peters on the bench, the Bears built their lead back up by dumping the ball into the 6-foot-8 Griner, who showed off her wide array of shots as she arched hooks and jumpers over the smaller Irish players.

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