Women fall in final minute to No. 16 CMU


Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

The Baker women’s basketball team fell 68-63 to the No. 16 Central Methodist Eagles on Wednesday night in the Collins Center. The Wildcats are now alone in fourth place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference standings at 12-5. They are 18-6 overall.

The Wildcats led for the majority of the fourth quarter against the conference’s best team. After a back-and-forth first half that was filled with Baker turnovers, the Wildcats played their best in the third and fourth quarters. But down the stretch Baker missed out on its chance to knock off the top team in the conference.

Baker led 63-62 with 40 seconds. Central Methodist inbounded the ball to sophomore DaJonee Hale, and senior Ericka Simpson immediately fouled her. Hale hit both free throws and Baker trailed 64-63.

The Wildcats then took the ball into the frontcourt but had the ball stolen by CMU’s Taylor McDowell on a bad pass by junior Kelsey Larson. Baker caught a break with McDowell missing both of her free throws, but the Eagles executed on the offensive boards, giving themselves two more free throws. Alissa Campanero, the No. 1 free throw shooter in the NAIA at 93 percent, drilled both free throws for a 66-63 lead.

Baker had two more good looks in its final possession. Sophomore Caitlin Modesett missed a 3-pointer to tie, and senior Jami Hodge missed a layup that would have cut the lead to one point. Campanero hit two more free throws with less than three seconds remaining and the Eagles knocked off Baker 68-63.

Eighteen Wildcat turnovers doomed Baker and knocked the ‘Cats back to fourth place.

Hodge and sophomore Sydney Buchel both finished with 14 points, Simpson scored 13 and senior Macy Wallisch scored 10. There were only seven points scored off the bench for Baker.

The Wildcats are back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday at Culver-Stockton in Canton, Missouri. All games are must-wins for Baker to get the best possible seed for the Heart tournament as well as a chance at an at-large bid for the national tournament.