HARTFORD, Conn. — Brittney Griner scored 25 points, including the 3,000th of her career, to help No. 1 Baylor rally and beat third-ranked Connecticut 76-70 on Monday night, extending the Lady Bears’ winning streak to 23 games.
Griner became the eighth player in Division I history to reach the milestone, doing it on two free throws with 1:05 left.
The defending national champion Lady Bears’ only loss this season came in Hawaii against Stanford back in November. Baylor (25-1) went 40-0 last season en route to the school’s second national championship.
Baylor led 54-53 midway through the second half before Griner took over. She scored seven points during the burst, and her putback made it 67-61 with 5 minutes left.
UConn rallied behind Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis to make it a 67-65, but Griner answered with a putback. Then she hit the two free throws 1:30 later to make it 73-67 and seal the win.
Baylor remained No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll for a seventh consecutive week.
The Lady Bears routed Texas Tech and Texas Christian and have 36 consecutive Big 12 regular-season victories. Baylor has already clinched the conference’s regular-season title. The Lady Bears received 38 first-place votes, while UConn received the other two.
The first six stayed unchanged with Notre Dame still ranked second. Stanford, Duke and California are after UConn.
The Golden Bears were followed by Penn State, while Maryland and Kentucky were tied for eighth. The Wildcats visit No. 10 Texas A&M on Monday night.
Nebraska and Wisconsin-Green Bay entered the Top 25, taking the final two spots in the poll. Oklahoma and Iowa State dropped out.
NO. 8 KENTUCKY 70, NO. 10 TEXAS A&M 66
In College Station, Texas, DeNesha Stallworth had 12 points and 12 rebounds as Kentucky held off Texas A&M.
Courtney Walker scored four quick points, the last two when she drove hard to the basket for a layup, to trim Texas A&M’s deficit to 66-64 with about a minute remaining.
Kentucky (23-3, 11-2 SEC) missed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, but it bounced off the rim and Stallworth batted the rebound to Bria Goss for an easy layup that made it 68-64.
Walker was fouled on a made jump shot with 4 seconds left and purposely missed the ensuing free throw. But Goss grabbed the rebound and hit two free throws to seal it.
Walker’s 20 points led Texas A&M (20-6, 10-2), which lost for the first time since Jan. 10 at Kentucky.
NO. 14 DAYTON 58, DUQUESNE 57
In Dayton, Ohio, Andrea Hoover scored 20 points and Kelley Austria added 17 off the bench as Dayton (22-1, 10-0 Atlantic 10) held off Duquesne (19-6, 8-3) for its 10th consecutive victory
The Flyers trailed 50-41 when Hoover’s basket with 12:17 left sparked a 13-0 Dayton run that lasted about 4½ minutes and put the Flyers ahead 54-50.
Ahjah Hall’s two free throws pushed the Dukes back ahead 57-56 with 3:21 left, but Ally Malott answered with two foul shots for Dayton 50 seconds later for the decisive Flyers’ lead.
Duquesne missed six shots and committed three turnovers in the final 2 ½ minutes, including a pair of failed shot attempts in the final 8 seconds.
Oditte Odisho paced Duquesne with 14 points off the bench.
Dayton shot just 37.5 percent (18 of 48), but made 18 of 22 free throws to Duquesne’s 4 of 8.