Brittney Griner scored 31 points to help the Baylor women's team win the Big 12 Conference tournament for the third year in a row.
DALLAS — The celebrations are always fun for top-ranked Baylor. Brittney Griner and the Bears have had plenty of practice.
Now the defending national champions can turn their focus toward trying to win the biggest prize one more time with their 6-foot-8 senior center.
Baylor has another trophy to show for its dominating run through the Big 12, clinching its third straight conference-tournament championship with a 75-47 victory over No. 23 Iowa State on Monday.
“Winning never gets old, especially this one,” said Griner, who scored 31 points. “We wanted to celebrate this, everybody did. This is our last go-around with the Big 12. Meant everything to us.”
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Along with their three tournament titles in row, the Bears (32-1) have won the last three Big 12 regular-season championships as well — going undefeated through the league for the last two.
They have won 49 consecutive regular-season or tournament games in the Big 12, though that streak doesn’t include the NCAA regional final loss to then-conference foe Texas A&M two years ago.
“We had that epic disappointment along the way. I’m never going to forget that,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “Those kinds of things motivate us.”
Iowa State (23-8) was runner-up both in the regular season and the tournament.
“They are different than anyone in the country,” Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly said of the Bears. “They’ve proven that over the last two years.”
No. 2 Notre Dame 83,
No. 16 Louisville 59
Kayla McBride scored 17 points and Skylar Diggins added 14 to help the Fighting Irish (30-1) beat the Cardinals (24-8) in a semifinal game in Hartford, Conn.
Notre Dame advanced to the tournament-championship game for the third straight year and its seventh since joining the Big East in 1995. The Irish extended a program record with their 25th straight victory.
Shoni Schimmel scored 20 points for Louisville.
No. 3 Connecticut 64,
No. 22 Syracuse 51
Breanna Stewart and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis each scored 14 points to lead UConn (29-3) past the Orange (24-7) and into Tuesday’s final against Notre Dame. The Huskies have lost in six of their last seven games with Notre Dame.
Metro Atlantic Athletic
Marist 72, Iona 48
Elizabeth Beynnon scored 15 points to help the Red Foxes (26-6) defeat the Gaels (20-12) in Springfield, Mass. Marist won the MAAC tournament for the eighth year in a row.
Kayla Christopher scored off an offensive rebound with 8.2 seconds left to lift the Mocs (29-3) to victory over the Wildcats (21-11) in the final in Asheville, N.C.
Davidson’s Laura Murray, who had a game-high 22 points, missed a 15-footer at the buzzer.
Middle Tennessee 53, Arkansas-Little Rock 48
Ebony Rowe had 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Blue Raiders (25-7) beat the Trojans (24-8) in Hot Springs, Ark., and earned an automatic NCAA tournament bid.