By Tyler Alley
Head coach Kim Mulkey earned her 300th victory Sunday at the Ferrell Center when her Lady Bears defeated Chattanooga, 91-31, in the second round of the Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
“That’s a reflection of the kids you coach,” Mulkey said. “I know my name goes by it but, truthfully, it’s just wins for our program. It’s a reflection of the great players I’ve been allowed to coach. It’s also a reflection of the university I work for in that it’s important that they allowed me to go out and hire good assistant coaches. Because those wins will remain right here at Baylor.”
Baylor jumped out to an early double-digit with a 19-0 run after Chattanooga scored the first basket of the game. Chattanooga never got within 14 points after that.
“We played better today than we did against Howard, for whatever reason. I thought our kids let me piece some things together out there with some combinations and we didn’t miss a beat. I thought that Odyssey [Sims] set the tone. I thought Brittney [Griner] set the tone. I thought all those guys who went out there at the beginning of the game had a different mindset than against Howard. It was just a lot more intense and more energy, and it just spread to the whole team. It was fun to coach them today.”
Baylor took 31-0 run, extending from the first half to the first five minutes of the second. Sophomore guard Odyssey Sims outscored Chattanooga by herself in the first half, with 16 points to its 12. Sims would finish with 18 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Sims said the team came out differently against Chattanooga than against Howard on Friday.
“I guess we were just ready to play,” Sims said. “I think everyone was more focused. It’s a start and a new beginning.”
Redshirt junior forward Brooklyn Pope earned herself a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, seven of which were offensive.
“I tried to make it on the first attempt,” Pope said. “It just didn’t go in so let’s just try again until you can’t try anymore. You’re out there so you might as well try.”
Junior center Brittany Griner scored 19 points in 22 minutes of play, along with eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Griner sat a good portion of them game, allowing quality minutes for freshman center Sune Agbuke, who had 10 rebounds.
“I thought Sune did well. Sune is deceptive,” Mulkey said. “That kid had 10 rebounds. She bangs in there. I just really like what I see with her. She’s got a lot to her game that can help us.”
Baylor continues the Preseason WNIT at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Ferrell Center, playing the winner of UCLA and Tennessee Tech.