Mississippi women fall 87-80 at No. 9 Baylor

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm •  Published: December 18, 2013

WACO, Texas (AP) — Mississippi coach Matt Insell already knew how good Odyssey Sims and No. 9 Baylor were.

And his Rebels came up only a couple minutes short of a big upset.

Sims had 39 points, including the last seven for the Lady Bears, who won 87-80 on Wednesday night to stretch their national-best home winning streak to 66 games.

"I told our players it's going to take 40 minutes to win," said Insell, the first-year Ole Miss coach who was a Kentucky assistant the last five seasons. "We played about 38 minutes. We've got to go back and figure out how to play those next two."

Baylor (9-1), which trailed by 10 early in the game, got even at 72 when Sims made a three-point play with 5½ minutes left, hitting the free throw after an impressive basket. After grabbing her own rebound, Sims was leaning and falling along the edge of the lane when she flipped the ball up toward the hoop — and it went in.

"It wasn't desperately," Sims said, with a bit of a smile. "The girl was a little bit bigger than me, I was trying to go around her. Just kind of how the ball went up and came down. I went along with it. I'm not going to say I knew it was going to go in."

Sims, who entered the game as the nation's leading scorer at 29.4 points a game, made only 11 of 32 shots. Ole Miss (8-5) was within a point with 2:17 left before Sims scored the last seven points for Baylor, including a floater and four free throws in the final 36 seconds.

"She's just a great player," Insell said. "I'm proud of my kids for the poise they had defending her. She had 39, but it was a hard 39 for her."

Ole Miss, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped, jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half. The Rebels had five players score in double figures.

Tia Faleru had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels before fouling out. Valencia McFarland had 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Danielle McCray and Diara Moore both had 13 points and Gracie Frizzell had 12 on four 3-pointers. McCray also had 12 rebounds.

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