The Baker men’s basketball team earned its first conference win of the season against Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent Avila University Wednesday night inside the Collins Center.
The Wildcats defeated the Eagles 85-65, outscoring Avila 41-25 in the first half and 44-40 in the second.
Despite an early two-pointer from Avila’s Dominique Washington, the Eagles trailed the remainder of the game after Baker’s Daniel Young tied the game less than two minutes in.
Five Wildcats scored in double digits against Avila and 11 total players scored for Baker.
Senior Nathan Guscott led the offense with 18 points and 6 assists. Sophomore Brett Elifritz followed close behind with 17 points of his own, going 7-7 from the field and 3-3 for three-point distance.
Sophomore Vandy Hopson and senior Stephen Edwards also scored in the double digits, with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The Baker men’s basketball team wasted no time extending its lead, leaving Avila to trail 41-25 by the start of the second half.
Overall the Wildcats shot 54 percent from the field and 58 percent from three-point range, while holding the Eagles to 40 percent from two-point range and 32 percent from the arc.
The Baker defense also forced 13 turnovers, with the effort beign led by Guscott who totaled seven forced turnovers in the game.
Senior Tyree Peter led Baker with eight rebounds, while scoring eight points. Peter now has 47 rebounds in five games this season.
With the victory, the Wildcats are now 1-0 in the Heart conference and 6-0 overall. This is the team’s best start to the season since 2006-2007.
The Wildcats will look to extend their win streak on the road as the face Culver-Stockton at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Canton, Missouri.
In the team’s two meetings with Culver-Stockton last season, Baker defeated the Wildcats 91-82 and 82-74.
Baker will have a defensive battle ahead of them as Culver-Stockton ranks No. 9 in Division I blocks per game and No. 10 in total blocks.
Culver-Stockton comes off a 98-74 loss to Heart opponent Grand View, the team’s third loss in a row. The Culver-Stockton Wildcats are 2-6 overall.