LUBBOCK (AP) – Baylor coach Kim Mulkey thought her team could have been remembering how easily they’d upended Texas Tech in their first meeting this season.
“I thought that we were missing some easy shots,” Mulkey said after the No. 7 Lady Bears defeated the Lady Raiders 75-58 on Wednesday night. “I thought that quite honestly, whether it was my fault as a coach or what, I just didn’t think we played with a lot of intensity. I don’t know if it’s cause we played them the first time and beat them so bad. We did enough to win.”
Odyssey Sims scored 30 points, her 11th game of at least 30 points. She made six 3-pointers and went 11 of 19 overall from the field.
“I know there is going to be these types of games, and my team relies on me to be the leader and step up no matter what,” Sims said. “I can’t show that I’m frustrated or made because then my teammates won’t know what to do. So I do my best to lead no matter what, and keep them positive.”
Nina Davis added 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Lady Bears (21-3, 11-1 Big 12) win their seventh in a row after dropping back-to-back games in mid-January.
Sims left the game briefly in the first half with what appeared to be an injury to her right leg or ankle but was back within a couple of minutes.
Mulkey said Sims’ consistency has been critical this season with the freshman and sophomore on the team.
“There’s nobody on our team that has played like Odyssey has,” she said. “They don’t have the minutes. They don’t have the experience. So I can only think where we would be without her leading us and guiding us. There’s just no substitute for a great player.”
Jasmine Caston scored a career-high 19 points, and Minta Spears added 14 for Texas Tech (6-18, 0-13). The loss was the Lady Raiders’ 14th straight, the school’s longest losing streak.
Texas Tech got the first basket of the game but never led again.
“Made runs at times,” Texas Tech coach Candy Whitaker said. “Felt like we had a chance at different parts of the ball game. Baylor is a very good team and Odyssey is a tremendous player. Right when we were getting going, she would answer and put her team up.”
Baylor got 13 points off Texas Tech’s 11 turnovers and won the rebound battle, 49-37.
Two of Sims’ 3-pointers stymied Tech’s last good run midway through the second half.
The final score was much closer than their meeting last once when Baylor won 92-43.
Baylor went up 41-27 early in the second half on two free throws by Sims. But Caslon made a field goal, three free throws and she and Minta Spears each hit 3-pointers to pull the Lady Raiders to 48-40 with about 9 minutes left.
But the two 3s from Sims and field goals from Niya Johnson and Kristina Higgins had the Lady Bears up 55-40 just a couple of minutes later. The Lady Raiders got no closer down the stretch. Their largest lead, 21 points, came with less than 2 minutes remaining.
The Lady Bears weathered a couple of drought in the first half. Sims ended one dry spell that went almost four minutes when she hit a 3-pointer to put Baylor up 21-15 and ended a 7-0 run by the Lady Raiders. The Lady Bears kept Texas Tech from getting a field goal in the final 3:35 of the half and led 31-23.
The Lady Raiders had to be pleased. When they lost in Waco in January they trailed 47-22 at halftime.
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