The Associated Press
WACO, Texas — Odyssey Sims scored 33 points, outscoring Rice much of the game on her own as ninth-ranked Baylor won 79-46 on Monday night to extend its nation’s-best home winning streak to 60 games.
Sims, the preseason AP All-American point guard and only returning starter this season after Brittney Griner’s departure, has scored at least 23 points in all three games for the Lady Bears (3-0).
When Sims made a short basket with 9:18 left in the first half, the Lady Bears led 23-14 and Sims already had 15 points — one more than Rice at the time. That was also the end of a span when she scored 12 consecutive points for Baylor.
Rice (2-2) didn’t surpass Sims’ final point total until Jessica Kuster’s basket with 6:22 left made it 64-34. That was just a few seconds before Sims exited the game for good.
When Sims made a basket with 71⁄2 minutes left that made it 64-32, the Baylor pep band started chanting “Odyssey’s winning! Oydssey’s winning!”
Sims finished 12-of-23 shooting with three 3s. She had three assists, two steals and no turnovers in 29 minutes.
Kuster, one of only two seniors in America that averaged a double-double in her first three seasons, had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jasmine Goodwine added 10 points.
Imani Wright had 11 points for Baylor, and Nina Davis had 10. They are among five freshmen playing for the Lady Bears.
Sims added a 3-pointer from the left wing to give her 18 points before getting a short break with Baylor up 28-14 with 6:08 left in the first half.
Back in the game a minute later, she had a contact lens dislodged when hit on a foul. When she went to the side to get solution and put the lens back in her eye, the referees made Baylor substitute for her at the line. Makenzie Robertson made two free throws with 4:36 left.
Sims wasn’t able to get back in until the next timeout at the 3:33 mark, but added two more 3-pointers before the half. The last was from the left corner in front of the Rice bench as time expired, when Sims emphatically reacted by pumping both her arms.
In what was a slow-starting game, Rice had its last lead when Reem Moussa, the Owls’ 5-foot-5 guard drove around 6-4 Sune Agbuke for a layup that made it 5-3 nearly 41⁄2 minutes into the game.
Davis made a tying basket for Baylor before Agbuke then blocked a shot by 6-foot Christal Porter.
Wright made a baseline jumper on an inbound pass from Sims, who then had a miss that Kristina Higgins into a putback basket. Sims scored the next 12 Baylor points, half of those in less than a minute.
Sims made two free throws with 12:22 left, then had consecutive steals that she converted into breakaway layups to quickly stretched the lead to 17-9.
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