Men’s basketball team sweeps Baker Classic

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Men’s basketball team sweeps Baker Classic

Story by Sara

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The Baker University men’s basketball team improved to 5-1 on the season Friday and Saturday by sweeping its opponents in the Baker Classic.

In their first game of the tournament, the Wildcats defeated Bethany College 77-72, and then they turned around Saturday to beat McPherson College 65-48.

Senior Samer Jassar got things started early against Bethany as he hit a shot from the top of the key to take 2-0 lead. Jassar’s shot would spark a 10-3 run, and Baker would hold its lead for the remainder of the game.

With five minutes remaining in the first half, the Wildcats were in control at 22-17. But as he made his way down the court, senior Todd Eils completed a key 3-point play to add to Baker’s eight-point lead.

As they went into the locker room for halftime, the Wildcats led the Swedes 34-25.

To start the second half, the Wildcats rallied for a 13-3 run, including three 3-pointers from juniors Julian Mills and Christopher Lockhart and senior Corey Anderson.

The Wildcats continued to pull away from Bethany throughout the second half, and with eight minutes remaining in the game they went on an 8-0 run to increase their lead to 64-47.

However, the Swedes quickly responded and climbed within seven with less than four minutes in regulation. The Wildcats held onto their lead, though, and escaped with a 77-72 victory.

In a similar fashion to their previous game, the Wildcats commanded an early lead against McPherson. Senior Ben Steinlage found success from the top of the key as he had seven quick points for the Wildcats, which led them to a 9-0 run to open the game.

Baker would continue to hold onto its advantage until McPherson went on a 10-2 run. However, the Wildcats had a quick response and went on a 7-0 run of their own.

At halftime, BU owned a 10-point lead, but this was quickly erased as the second half continued to be a game of rallies.

McPherson began with a 7-0 run out of the break, but a pair of free throws from senior Jordan Honore would spark a 9-0 run by the Wildcats.

Baker continued to pull away for the remainder of the game as it shot 47 percent from the field compared to McPherson’s 32 percent. BU also outrebounded the Bulldogs 39-30.

Steinlage led all scorers with 21 points and he pulled down six rebounds as well.

The Wildcats will look to keep their home winning streak alive at 7 p.m. Tuesday as they take on Ottawa University for the second time this season.

Baker previously defeated the Braves 73-64 in the Ottawa Classic Nov. 10.