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Sims' 34 points lead No. 7 Baylor over Texas 72-56

AP - Sports
Sims' 34 points lead No. 7 Baylor over Texas 72-56
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Odyssey Sims was struggling to score against Texas and showed her frustration as she watched the ball bounce off the rim time and again.

No matter. There was still a second half to go, and the way the way Baylor was playing defense, Sims and the No. 8 Lady Bears had plenty of time to find their groove.

Sims shook off her tough first half to finish with 34 points and Baylor pulled away in the second for a 72-56 victory Sunday.

''It was nothing they were doing defensively,'' said Sims, the national scoring leader who averages 30 points per game. ''I was getting good looks. I'm usually not that wide open coming out of screens.''

Defensively, the Lady Bears forced 26 Texas turnovers and turned them into 33 points. Texas made just one field goal over the first 11 of minutes of the second half.

''We always want to make teams turn the ball over as much as we can. We play good team defense,'' Sims said.

Baylor collected its eighth consecutive win and stayed in control of the lead in the Big 12. The Lady Bears are chasing their fourth consecutive league title.

Nneka Enemkpali scored 10 for Texas (17-8, 8-5), which dropped just its second home loss of the season and first in the Big 12.

Sims scored 44 when the teams first played two weeks earlier. She was 3-of 15 shooting in the first half of the rematch, but rallied with 22 points in the second half.

After making her first two attempts and scoring Baylor's first five points, Sims was 1 of 12 for the rest of the half. After one missed 3-pointer, Sims held up her hands and shook her head.

Baylor still led 24-16 before a nearly five-minute scoring drought helped Texas close within 24-21 behind five straight points from Imani McGee-Stafford.

The Lady Bears closed the half with a 6-0 run behind a 3-pointer by Niya Johnson and three free throws by Sims.

''We missed so many (shots) in the first half that were good shots for us and still had a nine-point lead,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said.

Sims converted a three-point play to start the second half. Texas answered with a basket by Kelsey Lang but wouldn't get another for nearly 10 minutes.

The Longhorns were just 3 of 13 from 3-point range and shot just 38 percent from the field for the game. Texas was just as cold from the free throw line, making just 13 of 26.

Baylor has allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent just once in the last 277 games, a span of 11 years.

''We had missed free throws and missed easy buckets when we could have stayed in the game,'' Texas coach Karen Aston said.

The Longhorns were still within 10 points with 12:30 left when Baylor used a 20-3 run to push the lead as high as 27.

Sims started the run with five straight points and made a 3-pointer that put Baylor ahead 52-28.

And one point, Aston called a timeout and implored her team to find a way to stop the run.

''Coach called a timeout and said, 'They taste blood, they're going for it,''' Enemkpali said. ''We couldn't find an answer.''

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