WACO (AP) — Odyssey Sims and all those talented Baylor freshmen are off to a high-scoring start without Brittney Griner.
Freshman forward Nina Davis scored 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting and had 11 rebounds in her first career start, and the ninth-ranked Lady Bears beat Nicholls State 111-58 on Thursday night. They extended the nation’s longest active home winning streak to 59 games.
“She took advantage of her opportunity, didn’t she,” coach Kim Mulkey said of the 5-foot-11 Davis. “She’s active, that’s why she gets a lot of rebounds. She’s active, and she’s hard to block out. And she has to be, because she’s a smaller post player.”
A preseason All-America guard and the only returning starter, senior point guard Sims had four 3-pointers and 23 points without playing the final 10 minutes for Baylor (2-0). Freshman Khadijiah Cave had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Imani Wright, yet another first-year player, scored 15 points.
Sims, who got to sit back and watch the end of the game, was hoping that Davis would reach 30 points.
“I wanted her to score as many points as she could. It’s always fun to watch another teammate get a double-double,” Sims said before looking at Mulkey. “And not to mention, she was player of the game, so I think she should start all the time.”
Mariana Lilly had 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead the Colonels (1-1). Emani White, who fouled out with 7 minutes to play, had 12.
Baylor has scored at least 110 points in both games in its first season after the departure of 6-8 Griner, the two-time AP Player of the Year, and three other senior starters. The Lady Bears last had consecutive 100-point games in December 2006.
The Lady Bears broke 100 points once in each of the last two seasons, including during the 2011-12 national championship run when they finished 40-0. The most points they scored in Griner’s four seasons was 109.
Sims had five rebounds, five assists and only one turnover while playing 27 minutes. She scored 28 points in Baylor’s season-opening 110-55 victory over Grambling State on Saturday night.
Davis was told earlier Thursday that she was getting to start.
“I was a little nervous when we first started out. But once I started playing and my game started flowing, I was more comfortable and I just went from there,” Davis said.
“Nina grows on you as you watch her practice every day,” Mulkey said. “I always tease her, she has an ugly shot, but she’s a scorer. She figures out how to score. She figures out how to defend at her size.”
Coming off a 33-point performance in the season opener, White scored eight points in the first 3 minutes for Nicholls State. She hit a 3-pointer on the game’s first shot, and made another 3 at the 17:17 mark to make it 8-6.
Sune Agbuke hit a tying jumper before Baylor went ahead to stay on a jumper by Makenzie Robertson with 16:40 left. That was part of a 30-8 run, and when that was done the Lady Bears already had five players with at least five points.
“You just have to give Baylor the credit in terms of their personnel, the depth they have and the ability they can, in a good way, just wear you down,” Nicholls State coach DoBee Plaisance. “They’re outstanding. … Odyssey did an outstanding job, especially in the first half, just nailing those 3s, which is expected. That’s why she is who she is.”
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