TCU slows Sims, but falls to No. 6 Baylor 69-46

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 22, 2014
TCU found a way to slow Baylor star Odyssey Sims. Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, their best offensive players had tough days as well. Sims matched her season low with 17 points, and the No. 6 Lady Bears overcame a sluggish showing in a rare morning start for their 10th straight win, beating TCU 69-46 Saturday. Zahna Medley and Natalie Ventress combined to miss 23 of 29 from the field while the Horned Frogs shot 25 percent and went scoreless for almost 9 minutes in the first half. ''Our two leading scorers have rough days today,'' TCU coach Jeff Mittie said. ''And we have to have them score points to win a game like this.'' Sims said she wasn't sleepy, even though she maybe looked it just a little after going 7 of 22 from the field. ''It wasn't the morning,'' said Sims, who offset the struggles with seven rebounds and seven assists. ''They play a zone, they're slow, they don't give up easy transition baskets. You've just got to keep playing and try to speed it up.'' The Lady Bears (24-3, 14-1 Big 12) stayed in sole possession of first place with three games left as they pursue a fourth straight conference regular-season title. Sims awoke from a stretch that included two of her shots getting blocked early in the second half by grabbing a loose ball after one of her misses and circling under the basket for a bucket. The nation's leading scorer then hit a 3-pointer to restore a 15-point lead. ''The focus is always on Odyssey particularly,'' Mittie said. ''The early part of the second half to get back in it, we basically tried to take her out as much as we could.'' Medley led the Horned Frogs (15-12, 6-9) with 13 points, but the team's leading scorer was 3 of 14 from the field and had six turnovers. ''I had open shots,'' Medley said. ''I thought when it left my hand that it was going in every time. But it went in and out.'' Baylor equaled its low for points in a victory, which came in the only game during the current winning streak that the Lady Bears didn't win by double digits, 69-66 in overtime at Oklahoma State. That was Sims' other 17-point game. Freshman Nina Davis had 17 for Baylor, while freshman Khadijiah Cave and sophomore Kristina Higgins scored 10 apiece. ''First of all give credit to those guys,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. ''If you look at the scores of people who come in here and play them, they're low-scoring games. They don't score a lot of points, so they want to keep you low scoring.'' The Lady Bears' win streak started after a rare two-game skid that temporarily dropped them out of the top 10. Baylor pushed its lead from 11-9 to 24-9 during TCU's long scoreless drought. After the Horned Frogs got within nine in the second half, Cave and Sims had consecutive baskets - with several TCU misses in between - to put the Lady Bears back up by double digits for good. ''If we make a few shots, maybe we can cut that lead from nine and see what happens down the stretch,'' Mittie said. ''We just couldn't make enough shots.'' One of Sims' assists was a nifty pass to Cave for an easy layup and a 58-39 lead with 4:28 remaining. Cave later put Baylor up by 21 with a layup on an assist from Higgins. Niya Johnson didn't score for Baylor, but the point guard had a team-high eight rebounds and matched Sims with seven assists. Ventress had nine points on 3-of-15 shooting for TCU, while Chelsea Prince had 12 points and 10 rebounds. ''I'd like to give credit to our defense,'' Mulkey said. ''But I think they just missed some shots today.''
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