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Sunday, January 5, 2014
Baylor's Sims is player of week

By Michelle Smith
espnW.com

Odyssey Sims
Odyssey Sims is the first player to twice win espnW's weekly national honor.

Editor's note: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel each vote to determine espnW's national player of the week, which is awarded every Monday of the women's college basketball season.

The truth is, if you consider statistical production and importance to the success of one of the top programs in the country, Baylor's Odyssey Sims would be a worthy candidate for espnW's national player of the week every single week.

But Sims will have to learn to live with the consolation prize of becoming the first player to be honored twice in the same season.

Sims gets this week's honor after a pair -- or shall we say another pair -- of stellar performance as the No. 9 Bears opened Big 12 play this week.

Sims put up 30 points on Sunday -- a feat that is becoming remarkably old hat -- and tied the Baylor school record for career 3-pointers in Sunday's 77-55 victory over Kansas.

It was the follow-up to another dominating performance in which she scored 40 points in a win over Kansas State in the conference opener on the road Thursday.

In her final collegiate season, Sims has stepped far out of the shadow of Brittney Griner to become the country's biggest scoring threat.

Sims, a point guard from Irving, Texas, is the nation's leading scorer so far this season, averaging 30.8 points per game. She's setting the pace for the country's second-best scoring offense; the Lady Bears average 96.8 points per game.

A snapshot of Sims' stat line shows a player who is the engine that drives her team. Sims is averaging nearly one-third of Baylor's points this season, has taken 27 percent of the Lady Bears' shots from the floor and 30 percent of their free throw attempts.

And the Bears might need even more. The hardest part of Baylor's schedule has begun with the start of the conference season, and the biggest test yet comes Jan. 13 when the Lady Bears take on top-ranked Connecticut in Waco (ESPN2 and WatchESPN, 7 p.m. ET).

Sims scored nine points against Connecticut last February, the last time she failed to score in double figures.

Sims' 30-point effort against the Jayhawks on Sunday -- a game marred by a scary incident in which Jayhawks freshman guard Keyla Morgan suffered a seizure on the court -- allowed Baylor to run its home winning streak to 68 games, a stretch that encompasses Sims' entire time at Baylor.

The Bears have also won 51 consecutive games against Big 12 Conference foes.

Sims has scored at least 20 points in 14 consecutive games and has reached double figures in 23 straight games, a run that dates back to last season.

Sims' next 3-pointer will break the school record she now shares with Jennifer King (1989-93). Sims has hit 195 career 3-pointers.

The question at this point isn't whether Sims will be worthy of our weekly honor again, but how many more times.

Also considered: Amy Kame, San Diego; Alaina Coates, South Carolina; Alyssa Thomas, Maryland.