Turnovers doom UTSA in 92-62 loss to No. 9 Baylor
WACO, Texas (AP)
UTSA coach Lubomyr Lichonczak saw plenty of good things from his team against No. 9 Baylor.
It was just hard to look past 20 turnovers in the first half.
Odyssey Sims scored 28 points, and the Lady Bears cashed in on the numerous miscues to take a big halftime lead in a 92-62 victory over the Roadrunners on Saturday night.
''Very alarming,'' Lichonczak said of that gaudy first-half number. ''And again, I attribute that to maybe just being a little jittery. Played a little too fast. Didn't read things correctly.''
Baylor (6-0) extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 63, rolling through three games in as many nights by an average score of 93-49 heading into a nine-day break.
Sims was 8 of 15 from the field, including 5 of 8 from long range, and made all seven of her free throws. She says part of the reason she didn't have a shot inside the 3-point line until 12 minutes in was the flow of the game. But there was another explanation.
''If I don't shoot the ball, I get yelled at,'' said Sims, who shot 45 percent from long range as a freshman and had a career-high nine against Oklahoma that season. ''So to avoid that, I let it fly.''
The Roadrunners had a season high in points for a Baylor opponent and the closest margin in six home games for the Lady Bears. Rice had the previous low margin at 33 points, while Nicholls State had the most points with 58.
''I'm not really happy about it,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''And that's the only thing I told them after the game: 62 points won't get it done. Maybe against great teams, but not against a team that you have a 30- or 40-point lead on.''
Kamra King led the Roadrunners (2-4) with 11 points, while Miki Turner and Mathilde Hergott scored 10 apiece.
UTSA had 20 turnovers and just eight baskets in the first half. The futility was best illustrated during a seven-minute scoreless stretch when the Roadrunners had just five shot attempts and five turnovers while Baylor's 17-0 run pushed its lead to 22-4.
The Roadrunners settled down in the second half and finished with 26 turnovers. They also shot a respectable 44 percent after Baylor had held its first five opponents to 30 percent from the field.
''At this point, we're playing in spurts, we're playing in halves,'' Lichonczak said. ''When we've got a good half going, I think we look tremendous.''
Nina Davis made all five of her shots and all four free throws to finish 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds for Baylor.
The Lady Bears' other wins in the three-day stretch were 99-31 over Savannah State and 88-54 over Northwestern State. UTSA beat Northwestern State and lost to Savannah State by a point.
Sims is on the verge of setting the Baylor record for assists. She had three against UTSA and needs two to pass Angela Tisdale, who had 493 from 2004-08.
But Sims can spend more time around the 3-point line now because Niya Johnson is alongside her. The sophomore had a career-high 10 points and led Baylor with eight assists.
Sims' first nine points were on 3-pointers, and her fifth from long range in the first half gave her 24 points, matching UTSA's total and putting the Lady Bears up 53-24. Sims would have outscored the Roadrunners in the first half, but she missed twice from close range in the last 4 seconds.
Sims, who has scored at least 23 points in all six games, gave Baylor its first 30-point lead with a pair of free throws that made it 63-33 with 14:51 left in the game. She went to the bench less than a minute later after getting called for a double technical foul along with King.