No. 23 women’s basketball sweeps Heart/KCAC Classic

Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

The No. 23 women’s basketball team continues to be perfect this season after sweeping Ottawa and St. Mary at the Heart/KCAC Classic hosted by Ottawa. The Wildcats beat Ottawa 72-57 on Friday and beat St. Mary 59-37 on Saturday to push their record to 4-0 on the season.

Friday’s game was closer than the box score showed. Baker jumped out to a large lead in the first half thanks to transition offense. The Braves couldn’t stop Baker at all switching from offense to defense and the Wildcats ran it up and down the floor with ease.

Baker was also aided by hot shooting. The Wildcats shot 48 percent from the field in the first half and held Ottawa to 21 percent. Junior Kelsey Larson scored 8 points in the first half, and senior Jami Hodge scored 7.

In the third quarter Baker saw its largest lead of 17 points shrink to six by the end of the quarter. Baker led 47-41 at the end of the third quarter, and Ottawa had its fans in the game along with the momentum.

But Baker’s offense exploded in the fourth quarter. The six-point lead grew to 20 points in just seven minutes. Hodge had the season’s most incredible play with a steal, a coast-to-coast drive to the other end, a pass to senior Ericka Simpson, a pass back to Hodge and a foul with a made layup. Hodge also spun two or three times during the play.

Junior Kenzie Cook came off the bench in the fourth quarter, due to post players senior Macy Wallisch and sophomore Courtney Hoag picking up four fouls, to provide a spark with 6 points and 2 rebounds.

Baker finished the Ottawa Braves off with a 72-57 win. Larson led Baker with 17 points, Simpson scored 12 and Hodge added 11.

On Saturday Baker matched up with an inferior St. Mary team that gave up 100 points to Benedictine the previous day. Baker led 20-4 at the end of the first quarter and 36-15 at halftime.

But in the second half both teams struggled to score and maintain possession. Both teams also turned the ball over 20 or more times. Baker shot 26 percent from the field and 14 percent from downtown in the second half.

Sophomore Caitlin Modesett paved the way with 16 points, and for the second day in a row Hodge finished with 11 points.

The women begin conference play Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Avila in Kansas City, Missouri.