Senior, Odyssey Sims, became the second player in NCAA Division I history to score 1,000 points as the Baylor Lady Bears (32-4) beat the third-seeded, Kentucky Wildcats (26-9) 90-72. She is 41 points behind Jackie Stiles for the Division record of 1,062 points, who did it in 2000-01.
Sims, scored 25 points in the victory, which was much more impressive when you notice that she started out the game 0-of-6 from the field. She made eight of her final 10 shots on the day.
"Everyone does what they're doing best," Baylor head coach said. "That's what it takes to advance in the NCAA tournament."
The game never met the intensity or the excitement of the first game between these two games. The first time they met, Kentucky beat Baylor 133-130 in 4OT. it was one of the most exciting games in women's basketball this season.
Baylor, despite early foul trouble used the scoring prowess of Sims to help the Lady Bears keep their foot on the gas pedal throughout the first half. Niya Johnson, Nina Davis and Sume Agbuke all found themselves in foul trouble. Agbuke and Davis picked up back-to-back fouls quickly, sending them both to the bench.
Sims, with three of her co-starters on the bench, took over for Baylor. After Kentucky cut it to 22-16, she scored 12 of the final 27 points for Baylor, as they led by as many as 19 in the first half.
They were able to weather the Wildcats while players rested in foul trouble. Mulkey brought Johnson back into the game, and then slowly brought back in Davis. Defense was key during this storm. Kentucky's Makayla Epps hit the lay up with 6:26 left in the first half. Baylor would hold the Wildcats scoreless over the next 6:17 of the half. The drought would end when DeNesha Stallworth made a lay up nine seconds left in the half.
Davis finished with 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds. Johnson finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Khadijiah Cave had a career high with 18 points and nine rebounds. Six of Cave's points came when Davis out with foul trouble, helping the Lady Bears to the big halftime lead.
DeNesha Stallworth led the Wildcats with 19 points. Jennifer O'Neill, who had 43 points in the first game against Baylor, had a difficult time this afternoon. She finished with eight points, all from the charity stripe. She went 0-of-11 from the floor.
While defense was solid throughout the game, it was the start of the game is where Baylor's defense set the tone for how the game would be dictated. They held the Wildcats to just 2-of-14 shooting to start the game.
Kentucky made one final run against Baylor in the second half, cutting the Baylor lead to 59-47 with 12:03 remaining. However, Cave hit a lay up and Johnson found her way to the rim. Cave would hit two free throws, pushing Baylor's lead back to 70-50, and putting the game out of reach.
For Baylor, they're already advanced farther than they did last season, and they are just one win away from their second Final Four in three seasons. To do this with the freshman on Baylor's roster is a rest testament for the Lady Bear's and how far they've come this season. It went from a potential rebuilding season to a season that's one win away from the Final Four.
Baylor now awaits the winner between the top-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls.
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