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Women's Tournament 2012: Stanford's Perimeter Shooting Key vs. Baylor

Photo Credit: AP
Photo Credit: AP
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 30, 2012

There's one reason why Stanford's frontcourt dynamic of Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike will be contained in the Final Four, and her name is Brittney Griner.

The Ogwumike sisters have combined to average 38 points and 20 rebounds this season, but Griner is undeniably the best player in the country right now. She's averaged 23.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and over five blocks this season.

The Ogwumike sisters will certainly have their moments on Sunday, but if the Cardinal are to create distance against undefeated Baylor, they are going to have to shoot well from the perimeter.

With Griner in the middle, the Lady Bears have one of the most imposing interior defenses in women's college basketball. But Stanford does have the three-point shooting to make it a game.

Joslyn Tinkle, Bonnie Samuelson and Taylor Greenfield have all shot at least 35 percent from downtown this season. The Cardinal hit seven three-pointers against Duke on Monday, which boosted them early in the game.

While taking more shots away from the Ogwumike sisters may seem counterproductive, the reality is that it's Stanford's best chance of winning against Baylor. The Cardinal are going to have to make up some distance with more three-point shots.

If Stanford does pull off the upset, Tinkle may be the main reason, given her perimeter shooting and three-inch advantage defensively on Baylor's Jordan Madden and Nae Nae Hayden at the 3 spot.

Of course, finding a way to stop Griner would be another option, but that's like asking Stanford to stop a freight train. Against Tennessee, Griner posted 23 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks, and that's actually the norm for her this season.

The best course of action for the Cardinal is to hope Griner stops herself, while they bomb three-pointers throughout the game.


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