Claremore Daily Progress

February 2, 2014

BIG 12 WBB: Sims scores 44, No. 9 Baylor rolls past Texas

ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WACO, Texas — Odyssey Sims has struggled with her shooting recently. The senior guard found several other ways to lead No. 9 Baylor to another win.

Sims scored 44 points, freshman Nina Davis had a double-double and the Lady Bears beat Texas 87-73 Saturday night.

The nation's second-leading scorer was just 12 of 34 from the field but made up for it by making 18 of 20 free throws, getting seven rebounds and seven assists and guiding Baylor to a school record-low two turnovers.

"You win a lot of ballgames when you only turn it over twice," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "And particularly when we do a lot of things with Odyssey and the guards handling the ball as much as they do."

Baylor (18-3, 8-1 Big 12), which has had the nation's longest home and conference winning streaks snapped this season, extended its league home winning streak to 32 games. The last loss was to the Longhorns on March 7, 2010.

Nneka Enemkpali had 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead Texas (14-7, 5-4). Four of the Longhorns' losses have been to ranked teams.

Sims shot close to the 33 percent she was averaging in the previous five games, but hit some big shots when the Lady Bears needed them. She had the go-ahead jumper that started an 8-0 run to open the second half as she scored the most points at home in her career.

"I've just got to finish," Sims said. "I'm getting good looks around the rim. Just not being able to put the ball in the basket."

The Longhorns had to deal with foul trouble most of the game, finishing with 37 fouls as Baylor made 37 of 44 free throws. Three Texas players fouled out, and three others finished with four.

Nekia Jones scored 11 points for Texas, and Brady Sanders, Celina Rodrigo and Kelsey Lang had 10 apiece.

"We just couldn't find any kind of rhythm defensively," Texas coach Karen Aston said. "Some of it was the officiating. I'm not blaming it on officiating. I'm blaming it on our team not making good enough adjustments to the way the game was being called."

The Lady Bears were up five when Sims ended up with a loose ball after a scramble on the defensive end, and she went the length of the court for a layup, screaming to the crowd after giving Baylor a 71-64 lead with 4:23 remaining.

Davis had 15 points and 17 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, and fellow freshman Khadijiah Cave had nine of her 11 points in the second half as the Lady Bears won their fourth straight since a rare two-game skid that temporarily knocked them out of the top 10.

Baylor's young players inside also keyed a defensive effort that held 6-7 Texas center Imani McGee-Stafford to two points and a season-low two rebounds.

"I thought the freshman posts for us just battled," Mulkey said. "It's amazing what defense and effort will do for you when maybe the other team's a little more talented."

Sims had a pair of three-point plays on driving layups in the second half, including one that gave Baylor its first double-digit lead at 76-66 with 2:33 remaining.

"She's a great player," said Rodrigo, who spent most of her night chasing Sims around the court since the Longhorns generally didn't send extra players toward the Baylor star. "I think we struggled with our defense late in the game. Our help wasn't there."

Baylor missed 12 straight shots early in the first half and fell behind 20-11 on a 13-0 run by Texas.

Enemkpali had consecutive layups that put Texas in front 13-11, and Krystle Henderson capped the run with a 3-pointer.

The Lady Bears answered with a 15-3 run highlighted by a 3-pointer from Sims that ended a 7-minute stretch without a field goal. Sims put Baylor back in front 24-23 with a layup.

The Longhorns went ahead 36-35 at halftime on Jones' 3-pointer just before the first-half buzzer.