|Senior center Asya Bussie helped WVU in the paint, leading the Mountaineers with 17 points and seven rebounds.
|Dale Sparks/All-Pro Photography photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s basketball team dropped its first Big 12 Conference game, 78-62, to No. 7 Baylor at the WVU Coliseum Wednesday.
The loss ended the Mountaineers’ (13-2, 2-1) 13-game win streak, while the Lady Bears (13-1, 3-0) extended their Big 12 Conference game win streak to 43 consecutive games. Baylor outscored WVU by 16 points, the second-lowest scoring margin for BU this season.
The Mountaineers couldn’t stop senior guard Odyssey Sims, the nation’s leading scorer, as she put up a career-best 48 points. Her point total broke a WVU Coliseum record for most points by an individual in a single game—men’s or women’s. The previous men’s record was 47 points set by Notre Dame’s Austin Carr in 1971, and the women’s record was 42 points set by Rutgers’ Sue Wicks in 1988.
WVU chipped away at a 40-25 halftime deficit to come within eight points, 52-44, with 12:30 remaining, but a 7-0 run with five points from Sims helped push Baylor back out to 15 in just over a minute of play. The Mountaineers came within nine points, twice, but the Bears once again responded, using a 17-10 run over the final eight minutes to secure the win.
“I thought we played better in the second half,” coach Mike Carey said. “We came out in the first half and weren’t ready to play. We were scared, I don’t know what it was. We just were standing around. Second half, I thought we played better. Needless to say, Sims had 48 – amazing to me. We tried to trap her, we tried to show but the bottom line is we didn’t guard her. We cut it to 10, we cut it to nine and then we quit playing hard again. That team plays hard for 40 minutes. Sims is a great player.”
Baylor came out shooting 45.5 percent (15-33) in the opening half, with five threes, while the Mountaineers shot only 24.2 percent with three 3-pointers before halftime. BU finished the game shooting 45.5 percent (25-55) from the field, 57.1 percent (8-14) from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent (20-24) from the free throw line. WVU finished the night shooting 32.8 percent from the field, its lowest field goal percentage since its season-opening loss to Ohio State. The Mountaineers made only 30 percent (6-20) from 3-point range and 66.7 percent (12-18) from the free throw line. The Mountaineers limited their turnovers to only nine, while forcing 19 Baylor giveaways.
Senior center Asya Bussie
helped keep the paint points even at 30 per team as she recorded 17 points to lead West Virginia. Bussie also led on the boards with seven rebounds, five of which were offensive, but BU held a 51-30 rebounding edge. Baylor’s Sims and Makenzie Robertson each pulled down 10 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Bria Holmes
added 15 points, while senior guard Taylor Palmer
had 12 points for WVU. Senior guard Christal Caldwell
was held scoreless for the first time in 43 games. The Mountaineer bench contributed 26 points, however Baylor’s bench had zero points.
Behind Sims, four BU players scored—all starters. Nina Davis had 12 points, Robertson had eight, Niya Johnson had six and Sune Agbuke had four.
West Virginia returns to the WVU Coliseum for a noon matchup with Texas on Sunday, Jan. 12. The Longhorns are 11-4 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play.