WACO, Texas (AP) — Nina Davis had 32 points and 10 rebounds in her first NCAA tournament debut and Odyssey Sims scored 31 points for Baylor in an 87-74 first-round victory over Western Kentucky on Saturday night.
With coach Kim Mulkey watching the game from her house while serving an NCAA suspension, the Lady Bears (30-4) advanced behind the big scoring games by the Big 12's top freshman and their most-experienced player.
Western Kentucky (24-9) led only once, but that was for less than a half-minute in the first half before Davis and Sims combined for all the Baylor points in a 14-4 run.
The only Baylor player ever with a 30-point game in the NCAA tournament had been Brittney Griner, who had five of them with a high of 40. It was the first time a pair of teammates had scored more than 30 points in an NCAA women's game since Gonzaga did it in 2011 according to STATS.
Baylor hadn't had two 30-pointer scorers since Danielle Crockrom and Sheila Lambert in a Big 12 game against Missouri on Feb. 18, 2001, during Mulkey's first season with the Lady Bears.
Mulkey served a one-game suspension for criticizing the officiating after the then-defending national champion Lady Bears' upset loss to Louisville in a very physical Sweet Sixteen game last March. Associate head coach Bill Brock filled in and is now 2-0 in his career when he's had to coach in Mulkey's place — he also did when Mulkey was ill during a regular-season game 10 years ago.