If you think “nobody’s perfect,” then you haven’t met our Baylor Lady Bears, crowned last night as the 2012 NCAA National Women’s Basketball Champions. In addition to winning Baylor’s second national title in women’s basketball, the team posted a historic 40-0 record for the season. That’s never been done before in NCAA history by any team, men’s or women’s.
Baylor beat Notre Dame 80-61 to claim the national title, after defeating Stanford 59-47 on Sunday in the first game of the Final Four in Denver’s Pepsi Center.
After the game — as the band played “That Good Old Baylor Line” in the background — Lady Bear post Brittney Griner told ESPN, “Everybody was a part of this win. Everybody did what they needed to do. The unfinished business is done. I’m glad it’s coming home to Baylor.”
The Lady Bears were ranked No. 1 in the country starting in the preseason, and they never moved off that perch. Living with those expectations made this team different from Baylor’s 2005 championship team, Coach Kim Mulkey said. “From day one, the expectations were placed on us — we embraced it, and we lived up to it,” she said. “Truthfully, we’re pretty special.”
Mulkey and several players brought home individual honors. Mulkey was named Russell Athletic/WBCA Coach of the Year, the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year, and Big 12 Coach of the Year.
Griner won the Naismith Trophy and the Wade Trophy and was named the 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Defensive Player of the Year. She was Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four and a unanimous AP All-American, among other honors.
Point guard Odyssey Sims joined Griner on the All-Tournament Final Four team and All American teams and was a Wade finalist.
Additionally, senior guard Lindsay Palmer received the NCAA’s Elite 89 Award, recognizing the athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at the Final Four. Palmer won it in 2010 also. Her GPA is 3.985.
Despite the individual honors, Mulkey has always said the team’s success belongs to the whole team.
Asked after the Stanford win if she was surprised her team could win with only three field goals from Griner, Mulkey said, “Not at all — this is not the Brittney Griner show.”
The Baylor Alumni Association offers congratulations to the Lady Bears and encourages alumni to relish the moment!
BAA Executive Vice President and CEO Jeff Kilgore said, “The Lady Bears’ heart and determination has been an inspiration to the entire Baylor family. Congratulations, Coach Kim and all the Lady Bears.”
Fans can relive the season through photos and video at Baylor’s athletic website.