SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Odyssey Sims and Baylor are back in the regional finals after turning an expected thriller of a rematch into a rout.
Sims scored 25 points, including her 1,000th this season, to lead No. 2 seed Baylor to a 90-72 win over third-seeded Kentucky on Saturday in the Sweet 16.
Baylor's sensational senior guard became only the second player to reach that milestone in a single season. She is 41 points behind Jackie Stiles' record of 1,062 for one year set in 2001.
The last time Baylor and Kentucky met, they played one of the most exciting games in the history of women's basketball. The Wildcats came away with a 133-130 four-overtime victory back in December.
This one fell far short of matching that thriller as Sims and Baylor put the game away by the half.
Now the Lady Bears (32-4) will face either Notre Dame or Oklahoma State in the regional final on Monday night.
The victory came a year after the Lady Bears were eliminated in the Sweet 16 by Louisville in one of the biggest upsets in women's basketball. Baylor's now back in the regional final for the fourth time in five years.
This might be the most unexpected of the trips as the Lady Bears lost two-time AP Player of the Year Brittney Griner and four other seniors to graduation. They still had Sims and coach Kim Mulkey has really developed a talented group of freshmen.
Sims got off to a slow start missing her first six shots before heating up by making 8 of her final 10 to finish the half. A steal and layup, a sequence she's done many times in her stellar career, with 12:40 left in the first half got her to 1,000.
She followed it up with a long pass to Nina Davis for an easy score on the next play pumping her left arm after the freshman finished off the play. That was one of her seven assists on the day.
Baylor advances to the NCAA Championship Elite Eight for the fifth time in program history.
Baylor's 18 point victory is the largest margin of victory in a BU Sweet 16 victory.
Odyssey Sims' 1,021 points this season extended her Big 12 Conference single season scoring record. She has scored the most points by a NCAA Division I player this season, passing Jerica Coley (FIU) who finished the season with 972.
With 1,021 points this season, Sims becomes just the second NCAA Division I women's player to score 1,000 points in a season, Missouri State's Jackie Stiles holds the record at 1,062.
Sims' seven assists today give her 16 games with five or more assists in a game this season.
Nina Davis tallied 20 points and scored in double-figures for the 31st time this season and her seventh 20-point effort of the season.
Davis has 319 rebounds as a freshman and moves to No. 1 on BU's freshman rebounding list. She trails Sophia Young's (2002-03) school record 351.
Niya Johnson, with 11 assists tonight recorded her sixth double-digit assist game of the season and seventh of her career.
Johnson, recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 assists. The 11 points were the fifth double-digit scoring effort of her career. Johnson has now tallied double-digit assists in back-to-back contests (11 vs. Cal).
Khadijiah Cave, with a career-high 18 points, records her 10th double digit scoring outing of the season. She has now scored in double-figures in back-to-back games.
STAT OF THE GAME
Baylor held a 50-28 advantage over Kentucky in the paint.
TWEET OF THE GAME
This is as impressive as @BaylorWBB has looked all season. Winning every battle.-- Charlie Creme (@CharlieCreme) March 29, 2014
"With what we lost, we did not really know what to expect, but that gave us motivation to prove people wrong, and it means the world that we have come this far and taken it one game at a time." - Baylor senior guard Makenzie Robertson
No. 2 seed Baylor advances to the NCAA Elite Eight, where the Lady Bears will face the winner of No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 5 seed Oklahoma State Monday in Notre Dame, Ind.