Sims, Baylor top McNeese 82-57, set for Big 12By SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer Saturday, Dec 28, 2013
WACO, Texas (AP)—Odyssey Sims had more than a point a minute, right in line with the season averages for the nation’s leading scorer, and was the only Baylor scorer in double figures.
Get used to it, coach Kim Mulkey says.
Sims scored 27 points, and the No. 9 Lady Bears extended their nation-leading home winning streak to 67 games with an 82-57 victory against McNeese State on Saturday night in the last game before the start of conference play for both teams.
“That’s probably a lot of what you’re going to see,” Mulkey said. “You’re going to see Odyssey in double figures and then you’re going to see it spread a little bit.”
Sims, the top scorer in the country at 30.1 points per game, led a 14-2 first-half run to take control heading into a visit to Kansas State for the Big 12 opener on Thursday.
Allison Baggett scored 22 points for McNeese State (7-4), which had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Cowgirls play host to Southeastern Louisiana in their Southland Conference opener Thursday.
Baylor (10-1) won by at least 25 points for the ninth time in 11 games, which meant Sims sat for a long stretch of the second half. That’s part of the reason she has more points (331) than minutes (318) this season.
Mulkey unflinchingly agreed that it will probably take somewhere around 30 points a game from Sims if the Lady Bears want to extend their streak of three straight Big 12 regular-season and tournament titles.
That’s fine with Sims.
“I’ll do whatever I need to do to help my team win,” she said. “If it’s 15, if it’s 20, if it’s 10, as long as we win, that’s all I can do.”
Alexis Prince, who had offseason foot surgery and made her debut in a four-overtime loss to Kentucky only after the Lady Bears ran out of players because of fouls, scored Baylor’s first four points. She finished with eight to lead six Lady Bears with at least six points apiece.
Before the game, Mulkey presented Sims with a ball commemorating the school assists record she broke with a career-high 13 against San Jose State on Dec. 3. She had two assists against McNeese to put her at 524. Angela Tisdale had 493 from 2004-08.
“I’m not sure she’s not seen everything you can throw at her,” Mulkey said. “She’s developed into a better passer and she’s finding players to where all they’ve got to do is catch and finish.”
It won’t be long before Sims becomes the school’s career 3-point leader. She was 5 of 7 from long range against McNeese and needs six to break Jennifer King’s record of 195 from 1989-93.
Sims had back-to-back 3-pointers and 10 points overall during the 14-2 run that put Baylor in front 27-12 with 7:47 remaining in the first half.
Jalyn Johnson opened the second half with a 3-pointer to get McNeese within 12, but Sims hit two free throws and made a crosscourt pass to Imani Wright for an opener 3-pointer. Prince added a putback layup for a 51-32 lead.
“Obviously we wanted to come here and compete,” McNeese coach Brooks Donald Williams said. “We really did. Certainly a great game to play right before conference. Just makes us better.”
Sims put the Lady Bears up 61-39 with 11:58 remaining on a steal and layup in the backcourt right after a bucket from Sune Agbuke and went to the bench for good less than a minute later. She has played at least 30 minutes just four times.
Agbuke, Baylor’s leader in rebounding and blocks, had eight rebounds and four blocks while freshman Nina Davis led Baylor with 10 boards.
Cecilia Okoye had 14 points and six rebounds for McNeese, and Haily Jenkins scored 11.