Men’s basketball splits HAAC/KCAC Challenge

Story by Antonio Adgers, Writer

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The Baker University men’s basketball team split its weekend series in the HAAC/KCAC Classic in Leavenworth, Kansas. The Wildcats lost 74-47 to the University of Saint Mary and beat Ottawa University 66-55.

On Friday, the ‘Cats faced off against the Spires from Saint Mary. Freshman guard Javeion Gray says it was an off game for the team.

“It just wasn’t our day,” Gray said. “We couldn’t buy a bucket.”

Gray contributed a team leading 12 points in the loss for Baker. The team as a whole shot 35 percent from the field, compared to 41 percent success from St. Mary’s.

The key to this game was 3-point shooting. The Spires poured in 12 threes during the game while the Wildcats only made four from beyond the arc.

“It’s not like we weren’t defending them, they were just shooting and (the shots) kept falling for them,” senior guard EJ Carter said. “It was just their night. It happens like that sometimes.”

After the loss, the Wildcats were motivated to come back with redemption the next day against the Ottawa Braves.

On Saturday, the Baker men showed up with a new attitude as they handled the Braves in a 66-55 victory to close out the weekend.

“We just wanted to be aggressive,” Carter said. “The night before, we were playing on our heels, so we wanted to come out and take charge right from the opening tip. We knew it all started with defense.”

The Wildcats forced eight turnovers against the Braves and held them to 31 percent shooting from the field.

“We really just played better as a team,” Gray said. “It felt good to go out there and get a good win before (the tournament) was all over.”

Against Ottawa, Gray contributed 13 points while Carter had 13 points and 12 rebounds as well. Freshman guard Nate Guscott brought in 11 points and junior center Nick Wilson chipped in with 10 points and 7 rebounds of his own.

The results of the weekend put the Wildcats at 3-2 for the season.

“I just can’t wait to get back in front of our home crowd,” Carter said. “We need to come back and get a big win at home to gain that confidence moving forward.”<br/>

The Wildcats will be back at home inside the Collins Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday against Bethel College.