Women’s basketball sweeps HAAC/KCAC Challenge

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

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The 10th-ranked women’s basketball team swept two games in the HAAC/KCAC Challenge in Leavenworth. The Wildcats beat Ottawa 79-57 on Friday and then overcame a halftime deficit to defeat Saint Mary 67-63 on Saturday.

Two-time reigning Heart of America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Ben Lister came into Friday’s game after earning his 100th career win Tuesday night in Baker’s 67-53 victory against Lindenwood-Belleville. The Ottawa Braves came in with a 1-1 record and were scoring 80 points per game.

Baker led by single digits throughout the majority of the first half and stretched its lead to 12 at halftime.

The Wildcats shot 47 percent from the field in the first half and held Ottawa to 42 percent shooting. Baker also hit 3 of 9 three-pointers while Ottawa didn’t make any threes in the first half. Freshman Ebony Parker led the team in scoring in the first half with 10 points and senior Angel Woods grabbed 5 boards.

Baker pushed the lead to 20 early in the second half and only let Ottawa cut to within 15 points. The Wildcats cruised to a 79-57 win by keeping Ottawa under 38 percent shooting from the field. The Wildcats made nearly 50 percent of their shots.

Parker finished the game leading the team with 15 points. Junior Macy Wallisch scored 10 points and also had 2 blocks. Wallisch currently ranks No. 4 in the NAIA with 15 blocks.

Senior Kyrstie Ehm scored 9 points, junior Ericka Simpson and senior Rashida Simpson both scored 8 and Woods, junior Jami Hodge and sophomore Mackenzie Cook each scored 7.

Playing on short rest, Baker jumped right back into its next game Saturday against the 0-4 Saint Mary Spires.

The Wildcats got out to a hot start and led by nine points after seven minutes. Saint Mary turned the table and went on a 26-12 run to end the half leading 33-28.

The Wildcats shot 33 percent from the field in the first half and only made 58 percent of their free throws. Ehm had 8 points in the first half and Wallisch had 4 rebounds.

After halftime the Wildcats came back to take the lead with 13 minutes to play, 42-39, after a three pointer from Ehm. Saint Mary kept the game close for the remainder of the half and tied the game 59-59 with two minutes to play.

Parker put the ‘Cats up 61-59, and after a Saint Mary free throw, Wallisch hit a shot to push Baker’s lead to three. Sophomore Kelsey Larson and Wallisch each hit two free throws to seal the victory 67-63. It was the Wildcats’ third consecutive win after an 0-2 weekend in Denver.

Ehm led the way on Saturday with 17 points. Simpson came in clutch down the stretch with 15 points and 4 assists. Wallisch nearly had a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds.

The 5-2 Wildcats take the floor at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Collins Center against Haskell Indian Nations University. Haskell comes in at 6-0 and nearly beat Baker last year in Lawrence, but the ‘Cats prevailed, 74-71.