Rice loses 79-46 at No. 9 Baylor
WACO, Texas (AP)
Odyssey Sims scored 33 points, outscoring Rice much of the game on her own as Baylor won 79-46 on Monday night to extend the nation's-best home winning streak to 60 games.
''Too much Odyssey, she actually outscored us ... she had six more points than our whole team at halftime, so we feel good about at least our team outscoring her in the game,'' Rice coach Greg Williams said. ''She lived up certainly to everything that has been said about her.''
When Sims made a short basket with 9:18 left in the first half, the Lady Bears led 23-14 and Sims already had 15 points - one more than Rice at the time. That was also the end of a span when she scored 12 consecutive points for Baylor (3-0).
Rice (2-2) didn't surpass Sims' final point total until Jessica Kuster's basket with 6:22 left made it 64-34. That was just a few seconds before Sims exited the game for good.
Sims, the preseason AP All-American point guard and only returning starter after Brittney Griner's departure, finished 12-of-23 shooting with three 3s. She had three assists, two steals and no turnovers in 30 minutes. She has scored at least 23 points in all three games this season.
When she made her final basket about a minute before coming out of the game, the Baylor pep band started chanting ''Odyssey's winning! Odyssey's winning!''
At the time, she really didn't know what they meant.
''Oh, now it makes sense,'' Sims said, with a smile, after being told that the score was 64-32 then.
''Odyssey's just a special player,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''It just tells you how much we're going to rely on her. It tells you how much she relishes the opportunity do whatever's asked of her.''
Kuster, one of only two seniors in America that averaged a double-double in her first three seasons, had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jasmine Goodwine added 10 points.
Imani Wright had 11 points for Baylor, and Nina Davis had 10. They are among five freshmen playing for the Lady Bears.
Sims added a 3-pointer from the left wing to give her 18 points before getting a short break with Baylor up 28-14 with 6:08 left in the first half.
The half ended with a 3-pointer by Sims, from the left corner in front of the Rice bench, that gave her 24 points and the Lady Bears a 45-18 lead.
In what was a slow-starting game, Rice had its last lead when Reem Moussa, the Owls' 5-foot-5 guard drove around 6-4 Sune Agbuke for a layup that made it 5-3 nearly 4 1/2 minutes into the game.
Davis made a tying basket for Baylor before Agbuke then blocked a shot by 6-foot Christal Porter.
Wright made a baseline jumper on an inbound pass from Sims, who then had a miss that Kristina Higgins into a putback basket. Sims scored the next 12 Baylor points, half of those in less than a minute.
Sims made two free throws with 12:22 left, then had consecutive steals that she converted into breakaway layups to quickly stretched the lead to 17-9.
''They're going to be a very good basketball team. They're young, and they seem to be enjoying playing with each other,'' Williams said. ''Kudos to us for holding them to 79 (points).''