HONOLULU – Brittney Griner and Baylor were rarely challenged during a 42-game winning streak that included a national title and a quick start to this season.
But the unfamiliar scene of Hawaii and an eager opponent in No. 4 Stanford – keen on avenging a loss in the Final Four – were too much for the top-ranked Bears on Friday, who fell 71-69 to the fourth-ranked Cardinal.
Griner scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half, helping the Bears rally from a 14-point deficit in the first half. Her shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim, and Stanford celebrated the victory. It was the Bears’ first defeat since losing to Texas A&M in the regional finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament. Baylor went 40-0 last year with no team coming within five points.
You don’t ever want to lose. You’re in Hawaii, you’re not under the normal circumstances of a regular practice schedule. You’re enjoying the beach and not having as much time to prepare, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. We played Kentucky and had a quick turnaround to come here. It’s a great schedule for us to prepare for another national championship.
Chiney Ogwumike scored 18 points to lead the fourth-ranked Cardinal (3-0), who lost to Baylor in the national semifinals last season by 12 points. Her reverse layup gave Stanford a four-point lead with 22 seconds left, after Joslyn Tinkle broke the tie with a layup with just less than 1 minute.
Baylor’s run was the fifth-longest winning streak in NCAA women’s history. Stanford also ended UConn’s NCAA record 90-game run in 2010.
No. 10 GEORGIA 62, SOUTH CAROLINA ST. 46: At Athens, Ga., Anne Marie Armstrong scored 14 points and Erika Ford added 10 as Georgia (3-0) forced 29 turnovers and won the rebounding battle 51-33.
Tiara Knotts led South Carolina State (1-1) with 13 points.
No. 15 NEBRASKA 77, NORTHERN ARIZONA 55: In Lincoln, Nab., Jordan Hooper nearly equaled her 32-point double-overtime performance against Northern Arizona last season, scoring 27 points to lead the Huskers (3-0).
The Lumberjacks drop to (0-3).
No. 3 KENTUCKY 101, LAFAYETTE 49: At Lexington, Ky., Kyle Wiltjer hit seven three-pointers and scored 23 points, Alex Poythress added a career-high 22 and the Wildcats (2-1) rolled in their home opener.
Tony Johnson scored 13 points for Lafayette (1-2).
No. 6 N.C. STATE 94, UMASS 76: In Bayamon, Puerto Rico, T.J. Warren had 21 points to lead the Wolfpack (3-0) at the Puerto Rico Tipoff. N.C. State will play Oklahoma State in the championship game of the tournament Sunday.
Jesse Morgan had 15 points for UMass (2-1).
No. 14 MISSOURI 74, NICHOLLS ST. 54: In Columbia, Mo., Alex Oriakhi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Earnest Ross added 16 points and the Tigers (3-0) put to rest their tendency to start slowly.
Fred Hunter scored 22 points and T.J. Carpenter added 14 for Nicholls State (0-2).
COLORADO 60, No. 16 BAYLOR 58: In Charleston, S.C., Askia Booker scored 19 points as the Buffaloes (3-0) held off the Bears (3-1) won the stretch at the Charleston Classic.
No. 23 CONNECTICUT 77, WAKE FOREST 71: In St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright each scored 16 as the Huskies (3-0) held off the Demon Deacons (1-1) in the Paradise Jam.
Codi Miller-McIntyre led the Demon Deacons with 21 points.