Kierstan Bell takes a shot.

Recap: Fourth quarter surge propels Team Sims past Team Smith, 91-85

© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Eric Rhew
Mar 12, 2023

DALLAS — One of the signs of a good team is the ability to bounce back from a tough result. For Team Sims, the chance to overcome its Friday night loss came in its Week Three finale against Team Smith.

It wasn’t easy as the squad trailed by 14 points in the third quarter before mounting a strong comeback to secure a 91-85 victory to close out the third week of the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Basketball season at Fair Park Coliseum on Saturday night.

The win allowed both teams to close the weekly schedule with identical 2-1 records, while ending Team Smith’s two-game win streak.

Guard Kierstan Bell earned MVP 1 honors for the second time this season after posting 563 leaderboard points. Bell, who averaged 21.0 points per game in Week Three, finished with a flourish by netting a season-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, including a 4-of-9 effort from three-point range.

Guard/forward MeMe Jackson came off the bench to provide a spark for Team Sims, earning MVP 3 distinction after knocking down four three-pointers in a season-high 12-point performance. Jackson scored nine of her 12 points in the second half to lead the comeback effort.

Forwards NaLyssa Smith and Crystal Bradford paced Team Smith in a losing effort. Bradford, the game’s MVP 2 selection, tallied 20 points with a game-high 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the year, while Smith chipped in 19 points and 12 boards to claim her league-leading eighth double-double.


After falling behind by a 72-63 count in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, Team Sims spun a 21-4 outburst over the next seven minutes to secure an 84-76 lead it did not relinquish. Bell and guard Odyssey Sims combined to score 11 of the 21 points in the run, while Jackson knocked down a pair of three-pointers.


Bell’s outstanding performance rose her six spots up the leaderboard, moving her into the captain’s seat for the first time this season. Bell will join Sims, Smith and forward Naz Hillmon as the captains for Week Four, which gets underway on Wednesday.


  • Team Sims initiated a challenge of an out-of-bounds call with 1:31 left in the second quarter … The challenge was successful and the call was overturned … Teams are now 11-of-23 (.478) in captain’s challenges through Week Three.

  • Team Smith and Team Sims combined to convert 15 three-pointers in Saturday’s Week Three finale, moving the league’s season total to 272 triples through 18 games … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every three-pointer made this season as part of its ‘Trees for Threes’ initiative.

  • Smith put together her ninth consecutive double-digit scoring output with 19 points.

  • Bradford notched her eighth game with 10 or more points, including her fifth in a row.

  • Guard Jordin Canada will carry a six-game streak of double-digit scoring performances into Week Four after closing play with 14 points on Saturday night … The former UCLA guard also dished out six assists and had three steals in the victory.

  • Sims, the league’s leading scorer, has 17 straight double-digit outputs dating back to last season … Sims, who finished with a game-high 29 points, has netted 20 or more points in 8-of-9 games this season, including the last six in a row.

  • Guard Layshia Clarendon authored their fourth game with 10 or more points this season after compiling 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field … Clarendon also converted all seven free throws.


  • #1 – Kierstan Bell (Team Sims, +90)
  • #2 – Crystal Bradford (Team Smith, +60)
  • #3 – MeMe Jackson (Team Sims, +30)

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