Baylor whacks WVU with a scoring Odyssey

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On the long list of terrific games Odyssey Sims has produced during her Baylor career, Wednesday night’s 48-point performance against West Virginia may have been her best.

The nation’s leading scorer sank six 3-pointers, made 14-of-17 free throws, and raised her per-game average to 32 points as the No. 7 Bears won 78-62 to stop WVU’s 13-game winning streak.

“Needless to say, Sims had 48—amazing to me,” said Mountaineers coach Mike Carey. “We tried to trap her, we tried to show, but the bottom line is we didn’t guard her. Sims is a great player.”

Sims’ 48 points were the most scored by any player at the WVU Coliseum. The previous men’s record was 47 points by Notre Dame’s Austin Carr in 1971, and the women’s mark was 42 by Rutgers’ Sue Wicks in 1988.

“She never ceases to amaze me,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “You just can’t guard her. You foul her or she can shoot the perimeter shot. She can take you off the dribble. I’ve challenged her to be a better rebounder because we’re smaller on the perimeter this year that we thought we would be.”

Sims also grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out seven assists, making her five turnovers almost an afterthought as Baylor (13-1, 3-0 Big 12) won its 43rd consecutive Big 12 game.

“I know every team is going to trap, box-and-one, just about everything you could possibly throw at me. No matter what, I just have to stay focused, stay level-headed, and lead my team.” — Baylor’s Odyssey Sims

In a curious stat line, West Virginia (13-2, 2-1) held a 26-0 edge in bench scoring yet never threatened Baylor, thanks to Sims’ offensive explosion. The senior single-handedly outscored West Virginia 26-25 in the first half when the Bears built a 15-point lead.

“I know every team is going to trap, box-and-one, just about everything you could possibly throw at me,” said Sims, a preseason All-American who’s living up to that billing. “No matter what, I just have to stay focused, stay level-headed, and lead my team.”

With the Bears enjoying a 51-30 edge in rebounding, the Mountaineers never pulled closer than eight points in the second half.

“We cut it to 10, we cut it to nine and then we quit playing hard again,” said Carey. “That team plays hard for 40 minutes.

“They were getting physical and we weren’t. Some of us were just standing around watching the game being played.”

Asya Bussie led the Mountaineers with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Bria Holmes scored 15 points and Taylor Palmer added 12. Senior guard Christal Caldwell was held scoreless for the first time in 43 games, finishing 0-of-11 in 19 minutes.

Makenzie Robertson finished with eight points and 10 rebounds for Baylor, while Nina Davis scored 12 on 6-of-9 shooting. The Bears shot 45 percent overall and limited WVU to 32-percent shooting.

“Our defense was outstanding,” Mulkey said. “I thought every shot that they attempted, that we did everything that we went over in the scouting report.”

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