Team Odyssey Sims used a hot start and a hot finish to blowout Team Taj Cole 120-95 in Athletes Unlimited play Friday night at Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas.
Team Sims ran away with the game with a 14-2 run that took its lead from 73-67 at the 3:29 mark of the third to 87-69 at the 1:08 mark of the third, after which it lead by at least 15 the rest of the way.
Kierstan Bell went on a 5-0 individual run to get the run started, the first make of which was a three off a Veronica Burton assist. Sims followed with a layup that made it 80-67. After a brief interruption when Team Cole scored, Team Sims rattled off another 7-0 run. Sims assisted a Kelsey Mitchell jumper, Burton assisted Bell on a 3-point play and NaLyssa Smith closed it out with a jumper.
Team Cole trailed 26-8 early. It fought back and cut it to five (54-49) on a Lexie Brown trey with 44 seconds remaining in the first half. But it would get no closer. However, that battle over the course of the second quarter to cut it to five resulted in Team Cole winning that frame. It was the only frame the team won in the game and gave each of its players 50 win points.
Smith came out looking to score; a right baseline hook shot from her and drive all the way up the court for an inside bucket were part of a 6-0 run to open the game for Team Sims.
Later on in the first, there was a string of four straight threes. Unfortunately for Team Cole, only the first one (from Crystal Bradford) worked in its favor. Mitchell, Lexie Hull and Sims followed with triples for a 9-0 run that brought the score to 21-7. After a Bradford free throw, Hull made two free throws and Danni McCray buried a three to push the Team Sims lead to 26-8.
Hull, who had been labeled too high a draft pick for the Indiana Fever this past WNBA season, showed off the talents that made her such a phenomenal player at Stanford. She led the contest with 697 total points, 90 of which came from winning game MVP. She was 6-of-9 from three with 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks.
setting the bar high this season @lexiehulll | #AUHoops pic.twitter.com/omSzDGDRsA— Athletes Unlimited (@AUProSports) February 25, 2023
Sims, who scored 30 points in her team’s season-opening loss on Thursday, added 22 on Friday to go along with 14 assists. She was second in the contest with 616 total points. Smith and Mitchell rounded out the players with 500-plus total points with 536 and 529, respectively.
Lexie Brown, who was 6-of-10 from three with 18 points, led Team Cole in total points with 289 in defeat.