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Griner is suspended

Baylor star must sit out 2 games

BRITTNEY GRINER Punch broke player’s nose BRITTNEY GRINER
Punch broke player’s nose
Associated Press / March 5, 2010

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DALLAS - Brittney Griner, the freshman dunking sensation for No. 14 Baylor, has been suspended for two games after throwing a punch that broke an opposing player’s nose in a Big 12 game.

Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey said in a statement issued yesterday that Griner will be suspended for one game in addition to a one-game suspension mandated by NCAA rules.

Griner was automatically suspended for Baylor’s next contest, Sunday’s match-up against No. 18 Texas in Waco. Mulkey’s additional one-game suspension will force Griner to miss Baylor’s Big 12 Championship tournament opener on March 11 or 12.

“Due to the severity of the act, it is appropriate that Ms. Griner is suspended for an additional game,’’ said Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe in a statement. “Therefore, I have accepted Baylor’s action and commend athletics director Ian McCaw and head coach Kim Mulkey for taking a strong stance to support good sportsmanship.’’

On Wednesday night, Griner punched Texas Tech’s Jordan Barncastle in the face after the two players tangled in the second half of Baylor’s 69-60 win in Lubbock.

The 6-foot-8-inch Griner and Barncastle were battling for position near the lane before Barncastle spun around and sent Griner lunging toward the baseline. As a foul was called on Barncastle, Griner straightened up and took two steps toward her before throwing a roundhouse punch with her right hand.

Players had to be separated in the scrum that ensued, and Baylor’s Morghan Medlock was given a technical foul.

In the written statement from Baylor, Griner apologized to “the Lady Raider team, my teammates and coaches, the fans and the game of women’s basketball.’’

“I let my emotions get the best of me and I am deeply sorry for my actions. I am committed to doing a better job of maintaining my composure in the future,’’ she said. “I will grow from this and I am dedicated to setting an example to others of how to learn from personal mistakes.’’

The 19-year-old Griner is one of the most talked-about women’s college players in years. The Houston native was an Internet sensation in high school with her incredible dunks and earlier this season she became only the second player to dunk more than once in a women’s college game.