Men complete season sweep of Evangel


Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

The Baker men completed a season sweep of Evangel with a 94-73 victory on Wednesday night in the Collins Center. The Wildcats’ 3-point shooting was enough to bury the Crusaders early on in the second half.

After their worst 3-point shooting game of the season at Missouri Valley last Saturday, the Wildcats took out their frustrations on the visiting Crusaders. Baker shot 17-33 from beyond the arc and knocked down 9-15 in the second half. Baker also had six players score in double figures, helping the Wildcats score 94 points for the first time in nine games. Going into the game, the Wildcats were fourth in the NAIA in 3-point percentage at 42 percent.

Baker beat Evangel 85-80 the first time the two met in December. That win was the spark of confidence that Baker has been riding for much of the second semester.

The game started off almost even for the first half. Both Baker and Evangel were making shots, inside and out. But late in the first half, Baker started to take control. The Wildcats stretched their lead to double digits in the final minutes before going into the half leading 42-33.

All hope that Evangel had in the locker room evaporated quickly. Sophomore CJ Bolton knocked down the first three shots he took, all from beyond the arc, almost burying Evangel three minutes into the second half.

Every time Evangel seemed to creep back into the game, Baker would answer with a big-time 3-pointer. The hot shooting wasn’t just in the hands of one or two Wildcats but in the hands of six. Baker shot 63 percent in the second half from the field and never let Evangel have a legitimate chance of winning.

After scoring 20 points in the his first game against Evangel, sophomore Gregg Easter led Baker with 14 points on 4-6 from downtown. Bolton’s three trifectas in the second half as well as one in the first half gave him 12 points. Senior Nick Wilson also had 12 points and four rebounds.

Junior Tyrome Parker scored 12 points on 5-6 shooting and had five rebounds. Junior Taylor Johnson and sophomore Nate Guscott both finished in double digits with 11 and 12 points, respectively. Freshman Clae Martin and sophomore Dan Young each scored nine points.

Baker also scored 94 points with junior starter Javeion Gray only scoring two points, which is a true representation of how well Baker is playing as a team at this moment. The Wildcats have seen offensive production from virtually everyone that steps on the floor.

With the win the Wildcats improved to 11-11 overall and 7-8 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Baker will host the Graceland Yellow Jackets at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Collins Center. The Wildcats won in overtime in Lamoni, Iowa, in December.

Baker will try to win two conference games in a row for the first time since the end of the 2013-14 season.