DALLAS — If there were any questions of whether Team Sims could put together another effort like it did on Friday night, they were quickly answered as the squad sprinted to an early lead and never looked back en route to a commanding 91-66 victory over Team Cloud to finish the opening week of the 2023 Athletes Unlimited Basketball season at Fair Park Coliseum.
The victory enabled Team Sims to finish Week One with a 2-1 record along with back-to-back wins, while Team Cloud completes its opening slate at 1-2.
Guard Kelsey Mitchell put together another MVP performance by scoring 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field, including a 5-for-9 showing from beyond the arc. Mitchell, who was named MVP 1 for her efforts, finished the night with a career-best 628 leaderboard points to move into fifth place on the league standings.
Forward NaLyssa Smith completed a dominating week by registering her third straight double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Smith secured MVP 2 recognition after going 9-for-21 from the field and an impressive 6-of-6 at the charity stripe en route to 606 leaderboard points.
Team captain Odyssey Sims flirted with a triple-double before ending with 19 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds. Sims, the MVP 3 selection, led all players with 650 leaderboard points to set a personal career high for the second game in a row.
Team Cloud, which lost for the second straight outing, received a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds from forward G’mrice Davis, while guard Natasha Cloud and forward Jasmine Walker each chipped in 11 points.
After conceding the opening three points, Team Sims left little doubt on the game’s outcome by scoring 19 of the next 22 points for a 19-6 lead with 4:32 remaining in the opening frame. Mitchell led the charge with seven points, while Sims contributed five points.
Sims’ 650 leaderboard points vaulted her into the top position on the leaderboard after the season’s opening week and led her to a second straight week in the captain’s chair. Smith will join her as a captain after accruing another effort with 500 or more leaderboard points.
Sunday’s game between Team Sims and Team Cloud was the second of five games to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network this season.
Team Sims became the first team this season to sweep all 350 possible win points after winning all four quarters outright along with the game … It is just the third time in Athletes Unlimited Basketball history a team has taken all of the win points in a single game, joining Team Brown on Feb. 2, 2022 (against Team Harrison) and Team Sims on Feb. 18, 2022 (against Team Harrison).
Team Cloud and Team Sims combined to make 11 three-pointers during Sunday’s Week One finale, increasing the league’s season total to 88 triples through six games … Aspiration is committed to planting 10 trees for every three-pointer made as part of its “Trees for Threes” initiative.
Teams are now 6-for-9 (.667) in captain’s challenges after three challenges took place in the game … Team Cloud challenged a foul called against guard Jordin Canada with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter … Team Sims challenged an out of bounds call with 3:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, which was successful … In addition, Team Sims was successful on its challenge with 48.7 seconds in the game when a blocking foul was reversed to an offensive foul.
Team Sims went a perfect 17-for-17 from the free throw line in the victory, while Team Cloud was 17-for-19.
Mitchell earned the 11th game MVP honor of her Athletes Unlimited career, tying her with forward Tianna Hawkins for the most career game MVP awards … Mitchell has collected game MVP commendations in 11-of-14 career games.
Sims’ 38 assists in the opening week set an Athletes Unlimited Basketball record for most helpers in a three-game series … Cloud held the previous mark of 35 assists, which were tallied during the opening week of last season.
Mitchell ran her streak of consecutive double-digit scoring performances to 14 games with her 21-point performance … She has scored in double figures in all 14 games of her Athletes Unlimited career.
Forward NaLyssa Smith authored her third straight double-double in the victory for Team Sims … She also reached the 20-point plateau for the third consecutive game.
Smith finished the opening week of the season with 38 rebounds, the second-highest total in the league behind the 40 caroms by forward Crystal Bradford.
- #1 – Kelsey Mitchell (Team Sims, +90)
- #2 – NaLyssa Smith (Team Sims, +60)
- #3 – Odyssey Sims (Team Sims, +30)
WNBA League Pass to broadcast 2023 Athletes Unlimited Basketball Season
© Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
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