Men’s basketball goes 1-1 on the road

Story by Chad Mullen, Writer

After a season-best offensive performance, the Baker men’s basketball team cooled down in Saturday’s 82-71 loss to Mount Mercy University.

The Wildcats shot just 7-of-24 on 3-pointers, three days removed from hitting a season-high 15 from beyond the arc in a 91-82 victory over Culver-Stockton.

Sophomore Clae Martin and the Wildcat offense got off to a hot start against Mount Mercy, leading 11-3 less than five minutes into the game behind Martin’s two 3-pointers. The Mustangs responded with a quick 8-0 run in 2:21 to tie the game. Mount Mercy took a lead soon thereafter, stretching it out to 16 by the end of the first half with the Wildcats trailing 45-29.

The Wildcats chipped at a Mount Mercy lead that got up to 19 points, cutting it to 67-61 with 4:02 left in the game. The Mustangs did not let the momentum swing deter them, going 9-of-9 on free throws down the stretch to bring the lead back to double digits at the end.

Senior Javeion Gray had a team-high 15 points for the Wildcats Saturday, surpassing 1,000 points for his career with 1,007. He also led the team in rebounds with 10.

Martin added 14 behind his four 3-pointers, and junior Daniel Young was the other Wildcat in double digits with 10.

With the loss, the Wildcats fall back to .500 with a 5-5 overall record after their win over Culver-Stockton College on Dec. 1.

Propelled by an explosive offense against CSC, the Wildcats put up over 80 points for the fourth consecutive game. The 91 for the Wildcats is a season-high, as well as the 15 3-pointers the Wildcats were able to hit.

The Wildcats came out with hot shooting from the 3-point line, making five shots behind the line for their first five field goals. The Wildcats’ stellar effort from deep was led by CJ Bolton, who surpassed his career-high in points in the first half after making six 3-pointers. Bolton finished with 20 points and also led the team in rebounds with nine.

Culver-Stockton was able to give the Wildcats a second-half scare behind solid 3-point shooting and forcing nine Baker turnovers. In one seven-minute stretch in second half, CSC made 6-of-7 three-pointers, eventually cutting the Baker lead to as little as seven.

Gray took over the scoring load for the Wildcats late in the game, scoring nine of the final 16 Baker points. He scored 17 in the second half to lead the Wildcats with 23 points for the game. Martin put the game away with free throws, making six in a row to end the game with 20 points.

The Wildcats’ next conference opponent, Benedictine College, is 7-3 on the year, 5-2 in Heart of America Athletic Conference Play. Saturday’s game will be the Wildcats’ last until Dec. 31 and will be played at 4 p.m. in the Collins Center.