Men’s basketball falls in Heart conference quarterfinals

Story by Chad Mullen, Writer

The Baker men’s basketball team ended its season Thursday, falling to No. 2 William Penn University 95-85 in the quarterfinals of the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Statesmen started out the game on a 17-2 run, but the Wildcats were able to respond with a 20-7 run of their own, bringing the game within two points with 8:39 left in the first half.

The Statesmen regained a double-digit lead before the half’s end, going into halftime leading 48-36. William Penn shot 55 percent from the field in the half and forced eight Baker turnovers.

The Wildcats were unable to stop the onslaught of the William Penn offense, as the Statesmen lead never fell below 10 points. A 51-point effort in the second half was not enough for Baker, as the Statesmen scored 49 of their own.

Jarvis Haywood of WPU led the team in points and rebounds despite coming off the bench, finishing with 18 points and eight boards. The Wildcats had their own help off the bench, as Tyree Peter had 17 points and a team-leading eight rebounds in less than 20 minutes of action. The Wildcats and Statesmen each had 43 points coming from non-starters.

Javeion Gray had a fine performance in his final game as a Wildcat, leading all scorers with 19 points, and cementing himself in the record book as the 10th all-time leading scorer in Baker history with 1249 career points.

Five Wildcats scored in double figures. Along with Gray and Peter, senior Taylor Johnson and juniors Dan Young and Nate Guscott each added 10 points of their own.

The Wildcats finished the year 17-15, their best record since 2011-2012, and made their first conference tournament appearance since the 2013-2014 season.