Northwestern St women lose 88-54 at No. 9 Baylor
WACO, Texas (AP) — Northwestern State fought back from an early 10-point deficit to tie the game at No. 9 Baylor.
The Lady Demons never took the lead.
Odyssey Sims scored 30 points, including consecutive baskets in a 23-second span during a tiebreaking run, and the Lady Bears extended their nation's longest home-court winning streak to 62 games with an 88-54 victory Friday night.
"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."
Trudy Armstead had 19 points for Northwestern State (2-2), including four free throws in 32 seconds to tie it at 25 with 7½ minutes left in the first half.
Mariah Chandler's free throw with 7:16 remaining put Baylor (5-0) ahead to stay for good. Sims made a basket with 3:39 left, and then had a steal and a layup before Nina Davis' three-point play for a 35-27 lead.
Armstead had a layup in the opening minute after halftime to get the Lady Demons within 38-32. Baylor then had another big run, and went on to outscore the Lady Demons 50-24 in the second half.
"It's called a Kim Mulkey halftime speech," said Stoehr, who was at Louisiana Tech as a player when the 14th-year Baylor coach was still an assistant there. "Having played for her and knowing who she is and the competitor she is, we knew those kids would come out and really get after it in the second half. I'm sure she inspired them in the locker room."
Sune Agbuke made a layup for the Lady Bears with 18:47 left, and added a three-point play 40 seconds later to start an 11-0 spurt.
Beatrice Attura had 13 points for Northwestern State.
Sims, a preseason AP All-American, is averaging 27.2 points per game this season. Sims has 20 assists and only three turnovers in 137 minutes while taking on more of the scoring load as the only returning starter after the departure of 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner and four other seniors from last year's team.
"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."