The Baker Orange

Men’s basketball splits in Wildcat Classic

Story by Antonio Adgers, Writer

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The Baker University men’s basketball team fell to the sixth ranked St. Gregory’s University Cavaliers 79-71 in its home opener for the 2014-15 season at the Baker Wildcat Classic. However, the next day the Wildcats bounced back with a big win over the Friends University Falcons 67-47, which put the ‘Cats at 1-1 for the weekend and 2-1 for the season.

On Friday night, the Wildcats had a scrappy game against one of the top 10 teams in the nation and it looked like the Baker men were ready to pull off an upset until late in the second half when the Cavaliers caught fire.

“I told our guys that I couldn’t fault them for their energy and effort,” head coach Sean Dooley said. “Down the stretch, we made some mistakes and they capitalized on them like good teams do.”

One mistake that the team made was not keeping St. Gregory’s off of the offensive glass. The Cavaliers scored 16 second-chance points off of 15 offensive rebounds. The Wildcats were only able to score five points from six offensive rebounds.

“There’s no excuse for that,” senior guard Jared Fulks said. “If we could have limited them to one shot per possession, we could have had a different outcome to that game.”

Senior guard EJ Carter contributed 18 points and four rebounds and freshman center Daniel Young chipped in with 10 points of his own. Carter and Young were the only Wildcats in double digits.

The biggest obstacle for the men was St. Gregory’s senior guard Marty Wilkerson, who scored a game-high 28 points.

The next day, the Wildcats faced the Falcons from Friends University. Coming off a loss the night before, the Wildcats were motivated to get the win.

Although the Baker men trailed the Falcons 27-21 at the end of the first half, they came back from halftime to outscore them 46-20, sealing the Wildcat’s 67-47 victory.

“It was kind of a crazy game that had swings of momentum in both ways,” Dooley said. “We came out in the second half a little bit more aggressive in attacking against their defense.”

The Wildcats shot a very efficient 65 percent from the field in the second half and held the Falcons to only 23 percent shooting from the field. At a pace like that, the ‘Cats took over the game to control the ball on both ends of the court.

“I blame it all on our defense,” Fulks said. “We focused more on the defensive side and let the offense come to us.”

Freshman guard Gregg Easter had a game high of 13 points with four rebounds and two assists. Senior guard EJ Carter added 10 points as well.

The Wildcats will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, in Leavenworth against University of St. Mary’s.

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