Sims’ 47 not enough as BU women fall to Kentucky
Odyssey Sims easily topped her career high in No. 9 Baylor’s
wild loss to No. 5 Kentucky.
There’s no telling what she would have ended up with if she
hadn’t missed the last three overtimes after fouling out. The Lady
Bears somehow managed to hang around without their star guard.
Jennifer O’Neill scored a career-high 43 points, including the
go-ahead basket in the fourth overtime, and the Wildcats beat
Baylor 133-130 on Friday night in the highest-scoring Division I
women’s game in history.
”I had a lot of faith in my team,” said Sims, who topped her
previous high of 37 points against Oklahoma her freshman year. ”We
did all we could right to the end.”
The Wildcats (9-0) won consecutive games against top 10 teams
for the first time in front of a crowd heavy with Kentucky blue at
the 80,000-seat home of the Dallas Cowboys and site of the men’s
Final Four this season.
The previous high for a Division I women’s game was 252 points
in SMU’s 127-125 win over TCU, also in four overtimes, on Jan. 25,
The Bears (7-1) rallied from 12 down in the last 10 minutes of
regulation and several chances to win even after Sims fouled out
with the Lady Bears down by two with 1:23 left in the first
”Our kids never missed a beat,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said.
”They never panicked. They just played.”
It almost was the second five-overtime game in women’s history.
A series of missed free throws gave each team a chance to extend
the game throughout the extra periods, including the last one.
O’Neill’s layup with 1:42 left in the fourth OT finally put
Kentucky ahead for good. She missed the second of two free throws
with a two-point lead with 6 seconds left but teammate Bria Goss
grabbed the rebound.
After Goss gave Baylor one more chance by missing the second of
her two free throws, a desperation 3-pointer by Baylor’s Alexis
Prince, who was playing for the first time this season, rimmed out
at the buzzer.
”I don’t feel anything right now,” said O’Neill, who set a
school scoring record. ”I thought it was more overtimes to be
The end of the more than 3-hour game drew a standing ovation for
both teams from a crowd that grew in size and noise while awaiting
the men’s game that followed between No. 3 Kentucky and No. 20
Sims was the second of seven Baylor players to foul out. Among
the others was Nina Davis, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
”I don’t think that they have a meter that could measure my
happiness when (Sims) got out of the game,” said Kentucky coach
Matthew Mitchell, whose team got a congratulatory visit in the
locker room from men’s coach John Calipari. ”We just couldn’t stop
The teams combined for 80 fouls, 47 by the Lady Bears. The
Wildcats were 49 of 66 on free throws, and Baylor was 33 of 46 from
the line in just its third loss since the 2011 NCAA tournament. The
Lady Bears have 81 wins in that span.
The Wildcats were coming off a 69-64 victory over No. 7
Louisville, which ousted Brittney Griner and then-No. 1 Baylor in
the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament last season.
Baylor won the only other meeting between the teams, 85-51 last
season in Waco, 100 miles south of the Cowboys’ home field.
Mackenzie Robertson, Mulkey’s daughter, matched her career high
with 23 points.
Janee Thompson scored 20 points for Kentucky, and DeNesha
Stallworth had 16 points and nine rebounds.
O’Neill, who more than doubled her previous career high of 21
against Marist last December, missed a free throw to open the door
for Imani Wright’s tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of the
Sune Agbuke did the same late in second OT for Baylor moments
after blocking a layup attempt by O’Neill. Down two, Kentucky sent
the game to a third overtime on a layup by Kastine Evans with 3
Thompson tied the third overtime with two free throws with 22
seconds left after the Wildcats missed three layups while down two
points in the final minute. Robertson missed badly on a driving
shot at the buzzer.