Men fall at William Penn in double overtime

Story by Chad Mullen, Writer

The Baker University men’s basketball team fell to No. 4 William Penn University Saturday in double overtime, 95-93.

Senior Tyrome Parker Led the Wildcats with 22 points and played a team-high 41 minutes.

Senior Javeion Gray put up 15 points, going 6-8 from the field as one of six Wildcats to finish in double figures. Senior Taylor Johnson and juniors CJ Bolton, Dan Young and Brock Mick each had 10 or more points in the game.

The Wildcats kept up with the NAIA’s second-ranked offense, almost pulling off a season sweep of the Statesmen after winning 88-85 Nov. 19 at Liston Stadium.

The Statesmen took a 14-point lead into halftime, led by Torren Jones’ 12 points and six rebounds. The Wildcats had trouble keeping the Statesmen off of the offensive glass, as WPU had seven in the half, 16 for the game.

Junior Tyree Peter led the Wildcats with 13 rebounds and two blocks, adding nine points as well.

The Wildcats surged back after halftime, taking their first lead of the game on two Gray free throws with 10:23 left in regulation. The Wildcat lead was extended to seven with less than five minutes remaining, but the Statesmen pulled off a 14-7 run to send the game to overtime, tied 80-80 at the end of regulation.

The Wildcats had trouble hitting from deep, as the team went just 6-23 on 3-pointers for the game. Bolton was the most effective from long-range, going 3-6 from deep as part of his 11 points.

Throughout the first overtime period, Baker and William Penn kept the game within one possession, with the Statesmen taking an 87-84 lead with 24 seconds remaining. Parker quickly made his way up the court and drew a foul and made the basket, converting the three-point play and tying the game with 20 seconds left.

The Baker offense stumbled in the second overtime period, making just one of six shot attempts and missing three free throws. Parker fouled out with 1:02 left in the period. The game remained in reach for the Wildcats, as the Statesmen missed two free throws up 95-93 with six seconds to go, but the Wildcats were unable to hit a 3-pointer to win the game at the buzzer.

The Wildcats are now 11-10 on the season, 8-9 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. The Statesmen jump to 14-2 in the Heart, 18-2 overall. The Wildcats will return home at 7:30 p.m. Monday to take on Missouri Valley College, which currently holds onto eighth place in the conference. The Wildcats can overtake the eighth spot with a win over the Vikings, who are currently 8-8 in conference play.