By OSKAR GARCIA
HONOLULU — Brittney Griner and No. 1 Baylor bounced back from their first loss in 20 months in emphatic fashion.
Griner broke the NCAA women’s record for dunks in her career and the Lady Bears beat UT Martin 82-67 on Saturday night.
The eighth dunk of her career wasn’t part of the plan to rebound from the loss to Stanford a night earlier, but the record is something she’d like to extend.
“It’s pretty cool — I got to get some more now,” said Griner, who now has eight dunks in her career breaking a tie with former Tennessee star Candace Parker.
Griner scored 16 of her 18 points in the first half and rested most of the second half once the Lady Bears (3-1) established firm control.
That took longer than expected for the defending national champions as the unranked Skyhawks (1-3) hung around early, using 3-pointers to try to compete against an opponent that overmatched them from the start. Baylor played without All-American point guard Odyssey Sims, who strained her hamstring early in a 71-69 loss Friday to No. 4 Stanford.
“We bounced back and got to keep going at it, try to develop younger players and get players healthy,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “It’s always difficult to do patchwork when you don’t have healthy players.”
Griner passed Parker with her record-breaking one-handed jam less than seven minutes into the game. She broke away from a double-team, dribbled once and dunked with her right hand, getting the loudest cheer of the night from the mostly empty gym.
“I faced up to see if I could find somebody cutting and (the defender) was just kind of playing up so I just stepped through and went,” Griner said.
Griner, who is one of only seven women to dunk in NCAA history, dunked four times as a freshman, once as a sophomore and twice in last season’s NCAA tournament.
Heather Butler scored 28 points and Jasmine Newsome scored 24 for UT Martin in defeat.
“I thought we were playing really well in the first half until the two-minute mark. We made a mental error when we were down one that snowballed into halftime,” UT Martin coach Kevin McMillan said. “I thought we ran out of gas about midway through the second half. But I was really proud of the way we finished out and the effort our kids gave.”
Baylor was looking to get back on track after Stanford ended its 42-game winning streak at the start of the Rainbow Wahine tournament in Honolulu. Baylor coach Kim Mulkey admitted after that game that her team was out of sync in the Aloha State during a trip that’s included snorkeling, surf and an unusual schedule.
Saturday night’s game — after a visit to Pearl Harbor during the day — was far different for the team that saw its streak end when a last-second shot from Griner bounced off the rim.
“It showed we had heart,” Griner said. “We didn’t come out here moping about the loss. We could have easily came out and felt sorry for ourselves, but we didn’t.”
Four players scored in double digits for Baylor, which used 12 of 13 players on its roster in the game. Alexis Prince had 13 points off the bench, while Jordan Madden had 12 points and Kimetria Hayden had 11.
Jasmine Newsome at 5-foot-7 didn’t even jump for the opening tip against the 6-foot-8 Griner.
In addition to her record dunk, Griner also passed 2,500 career points in the game.
Mulkey said Baylor won’t use Sims until she “can go 100 percent.”