Sims lifts No. 12 Baylor past No. 8 Oklahoma St.By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer Sunday, Jan 26, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)—Baylor star Odyssey Sims was having a game to forget.
The nation’s leading scorer was getting swarmed by Oklahoma State’s aggressive defense and she couldn’t find the basket. She spent much of Sunday’s game in foul trouble and even was benched by coach Kim Mulkey late in regulation.
When it was time to make game-changing plays, Sims showed up. She converted a three-point play with 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime, then stole the ball from the Cowgirls to give No. 12 Baylor a 69-66 victory over No. 8 Oklahoma State.
“That’s what All-Americans do,” Mulkey said. “Odyssey Sims is an All-American and she doesn’t care how many shots she misses, how many she makes — all she cares about is winning. She’s the happiest kid in that locker room.”
Sims, who entered the game averaging 30.4 points, had a season-low 17 on 7-for-27 shooting, but she had eight rebounds and eight assists. Oklahoma State, led by guard Tiffany Bias, felt it did a solid job of defending her.
“My team had my back the whole night,” Bias said. “It was a team effort the whole night. We did a great job shutting her down. She was way below her average, and that’s all you can hope for.”
Makenzie Robertson scored 18 points and Nina Davis added 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Lady Bears (16-3, 6-1 Big 12), who moved past the Cowgirls to the top of the conference standings. It was Baylor’s second straight win since back-to-back losses to Connecticut and Kansas. Baylor had fallen out of the Top 10 this past week for the first time since the final poll of the 2009-10 season.
Bias scored 14 of her 17 points after halftime to help Oklahoma State rally from 16 points down in the second half. Roshunda Johnson scored 15 points, Kendra Suttles scored 12 and Brittney Martin added nine points and 11 rebounds for the Cowgirls (17-2, 6-2).
With Sims sitting out with four fouls and the Lady Bears trailing by four late in regulation, Robertson hit a three that cut Oklahoma State’s lead to 57-56 with 1:36 to go. The basket allowed Mulkey to bring Sims back into the game. Mulkey said Sims was benched for two reasons—the foul trouble and trying to do too much.
“So much is asked of her,” Mulkey said. “She’s the first player I have had in my 14 years at Baylor that is being asked to do so much, and she wants to do good, and sometimes, she gets a little carried away and feels that she’s got to do it all, and it’s my job to make her understand it’s OK, you can trust those teammates.”
Suttles made a hook shot with 40.8 seconds left to put the Cowgirls up by three.
Baylor’s Robertson hit another 3-pointer with six seconds left to tie the score at 61. Oklahoma State pushed the ball down the floor, and Bias missed a layup as time expired, taking the game into overtime.
“It’s just one of those things where, it’s in and out and it was a tough night for me the whole night,” Bias said. “I wish I would have made it, but at the same time, it’s just one of those things.”
Oklahoma State had the ball late in overtime with the score tied, but Suttles’ 3-pointer was blocked by Kristina Higgins and Sims rebounded before scoring the game-winning bucket and making a free throw after getting fouled. OSU had one last chance, but Sims stole the ball from Bias to end the game.
Baylor led 33-24 at halftime, and two 3-pointers by Robertson helped Baylor expand its lead to 45-29 in the early minutes of the second half before Oklahoma State rallied.
Oklahoma State rallied, but couldn’t quite pull off what would have ranked among the biggest wins in school history. The Cowgirls were proud of their rally, but disappointed in the end result.
“We’re a fighting team,” Bias said. “We’ve always fought. As we’ve matured over the years, that’s one thing we have thrived on. We don’t just back down. We’re going to keep pushing.”
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.
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