By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 9 Baylor Lady Bears extended their home winning streak to 63 games with a 92-62 win over UTSA Saturday to go 3-0 in the Athletes in Action Classic.
“Three wins in three days and a lot of playing time for players,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “Obviously, I won’t be able to play that many players as the competition gets tougher. We still haven’t adjusted well to the fouls; we gave up way too many fouls and gave them way too many free throws. We gave them too many points. Sixty-two points is not good.”
Despite having some problems defensively, senior guard Odyssey Sims had 28 points, had five rebounds and added three assists to move her second-most all-time with 492 career assists. Sims is two shy from passing Angela Tisdale’s record of 493 assists.
Freshman forward Nina Davis has hit double digits in every Baylor game with 14 points and sophomore guard Niya Johnson had a career-high 10 points while adding eight assists.
“I was just trying to expand my game to better,” Johnson said. “Instead of just me dishing, I just want to keep scoring a little bit better. That’s what I plan on doing. It makes it harder to defend all five, especially when we’re all scoring, so I’m trying to get my teammates involved and also score.”
It was another strong start for the Lady Bears, despite being a little pass happy on the opening possession. With precious seconds winding down the shot clock, Baylor was forced to shoot the ball, but the rushed shot led to a missed basket. Fortunately for Baylor, Davis got the rebound and put it in for the score. Baylor went on a 20-4 run with Davis and Sims doing the bulk of the scoring. Sims connected on two 3-point jumpers during that stretch and finished the half going 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
“It was the flow of the game and how the defense played off too much,” Sims said. ”Also, if I don’t shoot the ball, I get yelled at, so to avoid that, I let it fly.”
Baylor’s defense was stout. Baylor forced UTSA into making mistakes, including back-to-back travel violations. UTSA responded and tried to go on a run, but Baylor didn’t slow down. Sims and company continued to score.
Senior guard Makenzie Robertson chipped in with a 3-point jumper.
The Lady Bears made the most of free throw opportunities, shooting 11-of-13 from the charity stripe. UTSA struggled from the line making 50 percent of free throws.
The Lady Bears got off to a slow start in the second half, as the game seemed to slow down with UTSA shooting back-to-back field goals. Baylor shot 45 percent in the second half, but the defense continued to give up points. UTSA improved its second half shooting to 44 percent. After coughing up the ball 20 times, UTSA gave it up six times in the second half. The bench players for UTSA outscored Baylor’s bench 27-26. However, the Lady Bears won the battle on the boards 45-27 allowing for 19 second-chance points compared to four for UTSA.
Baylor will have short break before playing San Jose State at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Ferrell Center.