WACO, Texas - The 10th-ranked Lady Bears opened exhibition play with a decisive 111-52 win over Palm Beach Atlantic on Wednesday evening at the Ferrell Center. Five players scored in double figures for BU, led by Odyssey Sims' 21.
A Baylor team with only four upperclassmen and nine underclassmen was led by three-year starter Sims, the 2013-14 Big 12 Conference Preseason Player of the Year. The senior jumped-started the Lady Bears, scoring their first six points, during a 19-5 run to open the game's first 8:30 of play. She capped the spurt with a three-point-play on a fastbreak layup and then dropped an assist to Sune Agbuke for an easy deuce as Baylor ran off to a 50-18 lead at the half that went unchallenged the rest of the way. Sims finished the half with 12 points, five rebounds, a team-high four assists and two steals.
Another senior on the squad, Makenzie Robertson, also did her part in guiding the youthful Lady Bears. Much like Sims, Robertson did a little of everything as she pulled down 12 of her 15 rebounds in the game, converted all four free throw attempts, handed out two assists and had one steal. The play of Robertson and Sims helped freshman Khadijiah Cave and sophomore Kristina Higgins score nine and eight points, respectively.
The second half was much of the same with great leadership and play from Sims. The All-American scored nine points, grabbed three rebounds, handed out two assists and picked up three steals to finish the game with a line of 21 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Baylor shot a stellar 60.5 percent in the second stanza as Ieshia Small, 2013-14 Big 12 Conference Preseason Freshman Player of the Year, led the team with 11 points in the half for a total of 13 in the game. Fellow rookie Cave also turned in 13 points, while Kristina Higgins scored 12 and Agbuke had 11 to round out the Lady Bears' double-figure scorers in the game.
*All 11 available Lady Bears played and scored in the game.
*After opening the game 2-for-10 from the field, Baylor closed the first half shooting 14-for-30.
*Baylor's size differential helped create a 37-8 rebounding edge and 18-4 edge in free throws made in the first half.
*Baylor had eight assists on 16 first half baskets, led by Odyssey Sims' four.
*Makenzie Robertson tallied 12 rebounds (seven defensive, five offensive), four points, two assists and a steal in the first half, and finished with a total of 15 rebounds.
*Sims (12), Khadijiah Cave (9) and Kristina Higgins (8) were Baylor's leading scorers in the first half.
*After shooting 0-for-8 in the first half on threes, Baylor shot 5-for-7 in the second half.
*Baylor shot 16-for-40 (40%) in the first half and an even better 23-for-38 (60.5%) in the second half.
*Ieshia Small scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half.
*Sune Agbuke scored nine of her 11 points in the second half.
*Baylor held edges over PBA in shooting percentage (50.0-28.0), free throws (28-for-38 to 18-for-26), rebounds (62-20), assists (25-9), blocks (6-1), steals (12-2), points in the paint (62-12), points off turnovers (36-10), second chance points (38-11) and bench points (63-14).
*Baylor had five players score in double figures in Odyssey Sims (21), Ieshia Small (13), Khadijiah Cave (13), Kristina Higgins (12) and Sune Agbuke (11).
*Assistant Coaches Sytia Messer and Toyelle Wilson made their Lady Bear coaching debuts
*Khadijiah Cave (13 points, nine rebounds, three blocks), Nina Davis (nine points, four rebounds), Ieshia Small (13 points, four assists) and Imani Wright (eight points, five rebounds) made their first appearances in a Baylor uniform.
*Niya Johnson scored seven points and dished out eight assists against her father, Boderick Johnson, Palm Beach Atlantic first-year assistant coach.
STAT OF THE GAME
30 - The amount of offensive rebounds Baylor had in the game, compared to Palm Beach Atlantic's 20 total rebounds, which helped the Lady Bears hold a 38-11 edge in second chance points.
TWEET OF THE GAME
"I thought it went well. It was good to see us have energy and I thought our press and transition went well. Until our posts grow up and get experience, we're going to have to really create things on the defensive end of the floor and full court setting. I thought we really stayed with what we wanted to do--press and run, press and run." BU Head Coach Kim Mulkey
The Lady Bears play one more exhibition game at the Ferrell Center before opening regular season play. BU will host Oklahoma City at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 5, before welcoming Grambling State for the 2013-14 season opener on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.