Griner, Baylor to visit UConn

By DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer Published:

Brittney Griner vividly remembers her last trip to Connecticut in two simple words: free throws.

As a sophomore, Griner had a miserable time at the line, missing eight foul shots -- including a few key ones down the stretch -- in Baylor's one-point loss.

The 6-foot-8 star can't wait for tonight and a chance at redemption when the top-ranked Lady Bears (24-1) visit No. 3 UConn in a late-season, nonconference clash that could be a preview of the NCAA championship game in April.

"I hope I get fouled on the first play so I can shoot some free throws," said Griner, a career 75 percent free throw shooter.

Griner got a measure of revenge last season when Baylor beat UConn 66-61 at home, rallying from an 11-point deficit in the second half behind its All-America center. Griner is looking forward to another shot at UConn, the only team she has a losing record against.

"I'm excited. It's a big game," said Griner, who is 25 points short of becoming the eighth player to reach 3,000 in her career. "I know they're going to have a great crowd. The last time we went up there, they had a great turnout. It's a great atmosphere to play a big game."

Neither coach wants to put too much emphasis on Monday's game, knowing there will be a lot more at stake if they meet again in the NCAA tournament.

"It's good for women's basketball. It's good for television," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "I'm ready for next Saturday. I'm ready to celebrate a Big 12 championship. If we go to UConn and we win, it's great. You're supposed to win. You're the No. 1 team in the country. And if you lose, what have we lost? Nothing."

Huskies coach Geno Auriemma isn't a big fan of the timing of the game, but knows that it can help prepare his team well for what lies ahead in the Big East and NCAA tournaments.

"It's not ideal in the middle of February," Auriemma said. "I think by now you'd like to just kind of be in a rhythm. But I think it's good for your younger guys to see this is what potentially it could look like in March. So in that respect I think it's pretty good.

"It's a game that really doesn't affect your ability to win a championship. Every conference game has an impact on whether you win the Big East regular-season championship or not. This game doesn't. And I think any time you can do that, to just play a game that's kind of a preview of the kind of game you hope to play in March, I think it's always good."

UConn (24-1) is coming off a 20-point win over Rutgers on Saturday.

TOP 25

No. 3 MIAMI 45, CLEMSON 43

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Kenny Kadji scored 12 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to keep No. 3 Miami perfect in Atlantic Coast Conference play after a 45-43 win at Clemson.

The Hurricanes (21-3, 12-0) finished with their fewest points of the season, and their high-scoring guard duo of Durand Scott and Shane Larkin were a combined 3-of-16 shooting for 10 points.

Clemson (13-12, 5-8) had three chances to answer back, but failed each time.

No. 4 MICHIGAN 79, PENN STATE 71

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Trey Burke scored a season-high 29 points and freshman Glen Robinson III matched a career high with 21 to help No. 4 Michigan to a 79-71 victory over Penn State.

Michigan (22-4, 9-4 Big Ten) scored the first six points after halftime to take control. Freshman Nik Stauskas scored 18, giving the Wolverines the third scoring option they needed to avoid an upset.

Penn State's (8-17, 0-13) Jermaine Marshall and Sasa Borovnjak each scored 17 points.

No. 9 ARIZONA 68, UTAH 64

SALT LAKE CITY -- Mark Lyons scored 18 points, freshman Brandon Ashley added 10 in a reserve role and Arizona defeated Utah.

A 3-pointer by Dakarai Tucker pulled Utah within two with 4:46 left, but a putback by Kevin Parrom and a layup by Lyons helped seal it for the Wildcats (21-4, 9-4 Pac-12).

Jarred DuBois had 16 points, Washburn 15 and Jeremy Olsen 12 for the Utes (11-14, 3-10).

No. 12 LOUISVILLE 59, S. FLORIDA 41

TAMPA, Fla. -- Russ Smith scored 15 points and Louisville stayed within a game of first place in the Big East with a lopsided victory over South Florida.

Smith, Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware did all the scoring for the Cardinals during a 22-3 run in the first half. Smith finished with six rebounds and four assists for Louisville (21-5, 9-4).

Jawanza Poland scored 11 points for the Bulls (10-15, 1-12).

BIG TEN

IOWA 72, MINNESOTA 51

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Devyn Marble and Aaron White each had 15 points as Iowa shrugged off an early 16-point deficit and rolled past Minnesota, 72-51.

Freshman Mike Gesell added 11 for the Hawkeyes (17-9, 6-7 Big Ten).

Austin Hollins had 14 points for the Gophers (18-8, 6-7).

ILLINOIS 61, NORTHWESTERN 41

EVANSTON, Ill. -- D.J. Richardson scored 18 points to lead Illinois to a 62-41 victory over Northwestern.

Tracy Abrams added 13 points off the bench for the Illini (19-8, 6-7 Big Ten).

Reggie Hearn led Northwestern with 11 points. The Wildcats (13-13, 4-9) have lost three straight and five of their last six.

OHIO COLLEGES

CLEVELAND STATE 88, MILWAUKEE 67

CLEVELAND -- Freshman Bryn Forbes tied a career high with 24 points and Cleveland State erupted in the second half to defeat Milwaukee, 88-67.

The Vikings (13-15, 5-9 Horizon League) trailed 41-39 shortly after halftime but used an 11-0, 4-minute stretch to take the lead and built it from there.

Cleveland State's Charlie Lee added 17 of his 20 points in the second half.

Jordan Aaron paced Milwaukee (6-22, 2-12) with 18 points, and Austin Arians added 15 off the bench.

GREEN BAY 71,

YOUNGSTOWN STATE 54

YOUNGSTOWN -- Keifer Sykes scored 24 points and shined in the second half as Green Bay downed Horizon League foe Youngstown State, 71-54.

Sykes scored 19 points after halftime for the second straight game for the Phoenix (15-12, 9-5).

Alec Brown scored 16 points and Jordan Fouse added his third double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Phoenix.

Bobby Hain led the Penguins (15-12, 7-7) with 14 points and eight rebounds. Kendrick Perry added 13 points, Kamren Belin 12 and Blake Allen 11.

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