The Baker Orange

Men’s basketball snaps losing streak

Story by Chad Mullens, Writer

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The Baker University men’s basketball team won for the first time in more than a month Saturday, when it defeated the Graceland University Yellowjackets 96-90 in Collins Center. Senior Julian Mills goes up for a shot against Graceland University on Feb. 8 in Collins Center. Mills scored 13 points during the Heart of America Athletic Conference matchup.Chad Phillips

Six Wildcats scored in double figures, led by senior guard Todd Johnston, who scored 17 of the Wildcats’ season-high 96 points. Baker also set a season-high in field goal percentage, with 57 percent shooting from the field. Freshman Javeion Gray added 15 points, 12 of which came in the first half, along with a team-high four assists.

The Yellowjackets kept the game even for the first 6:22 minutes of the game, with three lead changes and five ties. Then, the Wildcats rattled off an 8-2 run that gave Baker a six-point lead. From that point on, Graceland was never able to retake the lead.

The Yellowjackets had three 20-point scorers, all coming from the backcourt. Graceland senior guard Jamal Lawson led all scorers with 25 points. Graceland also shot an impressive 53 percent from the floor and outscored Baker from the 3-point line, 24-15.<br/>

The second half appeared to be in the Wildcats’ control, taking the largest lead of the game in the opening minute. The Yellowjackets did not come closer than five points from the lead until less than four minutes remained in the game, when a score off of an offensive rebound put Graceland within four points. The Wildcats answered back, bringing the lead to nine in the closing minutes, before the final six-point margin.

The win snapped an eight-game losing streak, and the Wildcats will attempt to make it two in a row when they take on the Benedictine College Ravens on Thursday. The Wildcats previously faced the Ravens on Jan. 9, losing 76-53. That matchup marked the start of Baker’s losing streak.

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