WACO, Texas (AP)—Odyssey Sims is adjusting quite nicely to her increased responsibilities for No. 9 Baylor.
Sims had 30 points, five assists, five rebounds and no turnovers in 31 minutes, and the Lady Bears extended the nation’s longest home-court winning streak to 62 games with an 88-54 victory over Northwestern State on Friday night.
A preseason AP All-American, and the only returning starter for Baylor (5-0) after the departure of 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner, Sims is averaging 27.2 points this season. She has 20 assists and three turnovers in 137 minutes this season.
“It’s challenging learning the two (position). I have to learn both spots, more plays. But it’s not that much different,” Sims said. “Regardless of how I’m playing, if I lead my team and we win and I’m doing fine. … I’m trying to concentrate more on rebounding and also on assists. I’m still the point guard, but I’m still playing the two so I can score.”
The Lady Bears put together a clinching 11-0 run over a span of just over 2 minutes early in the second half, grabbing a 49-32 lead on Nina Davis’ layup. They kept building on the advantage from there, leading by as many as 36 points.
After falling behind by 10 early, the Lady Demons (2-2) got even at 25 with 7:29 left in the first half after Trudy Armstead had four free throws in a 32-second span. They never took the lead.
Baylor went ahead to stay with a 10-2 run that included consecutive baskets in 23 seconds by Sims, the second a steal and a layup. Davis had a three-point play to wrap up that spurt.
“There’s not a lot to say that’s wrong about her game,” Northwestern State coach Brooke Stoehr said of Sims. “As a coach and as a competitor, it’s really fun to watch her play, especially when you’re not on the other end of the beating from her.
“But she does a fantastic job on both ends of the floor. Everything goes through her. She carries herself the right way. She has a great command of the basketball. She really leads them in every aspect.”
Davis, among five freshmen for the Lady Bears, had 11 points.
Armstead had 19 points for Northwestern State (2-2), including a layup in the opening minute after halftime to get the Lady Demons within 38-32.
Baylor then had another big run.
Sune Agbuke made a layup for Baylor with 18:47 left, and added a three-point play 40 seconds later. Davis had the run-capping layup with 16:35 to go.
Beatrice Attura had 13 points for Northwestern State, which was outscored 50-24 after halftime.
“We talked about that at halftime, and they responded,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “We took care of the ball but it was like we were in a lull thinking somebody was going to go away. We jumped on them early in the game and they weren’t going to go away. We didn’t get the job done on the defensive end but we picked it up in the second half.”