Mississippi women fall 87-80 at No. 9 Baylor
Mississippi coach Matt Insell already knew how good Odyssey Sims
and No. 9 Baylor were.
And his Rebels came up only a couple minutes short of a big
Sims had 39 points, including the last seven for the Lady Bears,
who won 87-80 on Wednesday night to stretch their national-best
home winning streak to 66 games.
”I told our players it’s going to take 40 minutes to win,”
said Insell, the first-year Ole Miss coach who was a Kentucky
assistant the last five seasons. ”We played about 38 minutes.
We’ve got to go back and figure out how to play those next
Baylor (9-1), which trailed by 10 early in the game, got even at
72 when Sims made a three-point play with 5 1/2 minutes left,
hitting the free throw after an impressive basket. After grabbing
her own rebound, Sims was leaning and falling along the edge of the
lane when she flipped the ball up toward the hoop – and it went
”It wasn’t desperately,” Sims said, with a bit of a smile.
”The girl was a little bit bigger than me, I was trying to go
around her. Just kind of how the ball went up and came down. I went
along with it. I’m not going to say I knew it was going to go
Sims, who entered the game as the nation’s leading scorer at
29.4 points a game, made only 11 of 32 shots. Ole Miss (8-5) was
within a point with 2:17 left before Sims scored the last seven
points for Baylor, including a floater and four free throws in the
final 36 seconds.
”She’s just a great player,” Insell said. ”I’m proud of my
kids for the poise they had defending her. She had 39, but it was a
hard 39 for her.”
Ole Miss, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped,
jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half. The Rebels had
five players score in double figures.
Tia Faleru had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels before
fouling out. Valencia McFarland had 17 points, 12 assists and nine
rebounds. Danielle McCray and Diara Moore both had 13 points and
Gracie Frizzell had 12 on four 3-pointers. McCray also had 12
”We can take a lot from this game,” McFarland said. ”it can
prepare us for the SEC and what’s to come.”
Nina Davis had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Bears.
Sune Agbuke also had 15 rebounds, and Niya Johnson scored 10
McCray gave Ole Miss its last lead at 74-72 after scoring on a
pass from McFarland with just over 4 minutes left.
Davis scored while being fouled with 3:44 left, that being the
fifth foul on Faleru.
”It’s a huge difference. Tia Faleru is a kid that’s just really
coming into her own,” Insell said. ”She plays 21 minutes in a
hostile environment against a great team, has 22 points and 10
rebounds. She got to learn how to play with fouls. That’s the next
part of her growth.”
After the media timeout, Davis made the tiebreaking free
Makenzie Robertson then made a 3-pointer in front of her
teammates on the bench to make it 78-74.
Moore then made a layup for Ole Miss, and after the Lady Bears
missed on three shots before Agbuke made two free throws, Moore had
a three-point play to get to 80-79, but the Rebels never went ahead
Ole Miss used a 17-4 run midway through the first half and was
up 29-19 when McFarland made a free throw with 8:38 left.
Baylor closed the half with an 11-4 run, including consecutive
layups by Johnson, and was within 41-40 at the half after Agbuke’s
three-point play in the final minute.
”There’s going to be a lot of games like that this year,”
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ”I wouldn’t say it was a pretty
game, but two teams that wanted to win. When we got down 10, we
hung in there, and had a little resiliency and made a few