Women win fourth straight basketball game

Story by Chad Mullen, Writer

The Baker women’s basketball team remained atop the Heart of America Athletic Conference with a 71-67 win over William Penn University Saturday. The win puts the Wildcats at 17-4 overall.

Kelsey Larson led with 19 points off the bench, and Mackenzie Cook led the starters with 15. Jessica Zweifel was the other remaining Wildcat to score in double digits with 10.

Baker faced an 39-31 halftime deficit, in large part due to the Statesmen’s offensive rebounding prowess. The Statesmen took eight more shots than the Wildcats in the first half, and 10 Baker turnovers also kept the game in the hand of William Penn.

The Statesmen were able to stretch the lead to 10 soon after the second half started with a shot by Jessica Warren. Warren made her impact in little time, leading the Statesmen with 18 points and 12 rebounds in just 20 minutes. But the Wildcats cut that lead to one by the end of the third quarter. The Baker defense stifled WPU’s attack, holding the Statesmen to just nine points in the quarter.

The Wildcats found themselves again down by eight, this time with less than four minutes left in the game. Larsen took charge, hitting two 3s in quick succession, and another 3-pointer by Zweifel capped off a nine-point swing that gave the Wildcats a 64-63 lead with 1:46 to go.

The Statesmen came back to tie the game with 15 seconds left, but Larsen scored to give the Wildcats a 69-67 lead, and Anna Hignight came away with a clutch steal. Larsen then hit two free throws to seal the game for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats’ next opponent will be the Vikings of Missouri Valley College at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Collins Center. Their first matchup on Nov. 22 ended with the Wildcats easily handling the Vikings 91-53.