Brittney Griner came within one blocked shot of a tripledouble Monday night as No. 1 Baylor clinched a spot in the women's Final Four with a 77-58 thumping of second-seeded Tennessee in the Des Moines regional final at Wells Fargo Arena.
Griner scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to go along with nine blocks before being one of three Bears ejected in the final minute for coming off the bench during an altercation.
It's not known whether Griner will have to miss Sunday night's national semifinal against Stanford. However, initial reports on ESPN during the telecast said the ejections were not expected to lead to suspensions.
Odyssey Sims pumped in a game-high 27 points for Baylor (38-0, 18-0 Big 12), which led 35-20 at halftime and never let the lead get below 10 points in the second half. Her five 3-pointers were a game high in the win for the Bears as the team went a total of 8-for-15 from 3-point range.
Shekinna Stricklen scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Lady Vols (27-9, 12-4 Southeastern Conference). Glory Johnson chipped in 19 points on 8-for-17 shooting.
Baylor's defense, ranked sixth in the nation, made the difference. The Bears forced the Lady Vols to 30.3 percent shooting and just 58 points, both well below the 74.5 points and 44.2 percent shooting the team averaged this season.
Johnson's defense kept Tennessee in the game for the first half and most of the second half. She recorded a team-high 14 rebounds and four stealts for the Lady Vols in the loss.
The two combined for 19 of Tennessee's last 22 points in the contest.
The team might have played its last game for legendary coach Pat Summitt. Battling early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, Summitt hasn't committed to coaching next year.
Fresno regional final
Stanford 77, Duke 59: Led by Nnemkadi Ogwumike's 29-point peformance, the Cardinal (35-1, 18-0 Pacific 12) topped the Blue Devils (27-6, 15-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) at Save Mart Center.
Chiney Ogwumike scored 12 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Stanford in the victory.
The Cardinal shot the ball effectively from the field, making 50 percent of its attempts from the field and 38.9percent from 3-point range in the victory.
Duke was led by Chelsea Gray's 28-point performance. Tricia Liston added 15 points.
No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 2 Kentucky, 7p.m., ESPN
No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Maryland, 9p.m., ESPN
Note: The Final Four will be broadcast on ESPN.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun