Women’s basketball team concentrates on consistency

Women's basketball team concentrates on consistency

Story by Abby Reynolds

The Baker University women’s basketball team struggled to find a win Saturday against No. 25 Evangel University, dropping the Wildcats  to No. 6 in the conference.

Baker lost to Evangel 63-52, making its overall record 13-11 and its Heart of America Athletic Conference record 8-6 as of Wednesday.

“Overall, the team didn’t play bad,” senior Aubree Gustin, who finished the game with nine points, said. “Evangel shot really well, shooting 60 percent in the first half. It was just hard to overcome that.”

The Wildcats were looking to build off a win over Central Methodist University Feb. 2, but were unsuccessful.

The ‘Cats defeated the Eagles 53-43, with seniors Emily Gibson and Gustin both scoring in double figures.

The game was close throughout, with the ‘Cats leading the Eagles 25-23 at halftime, but Gustin pulled Baker away to secure the win late in the second half. 

Baker shot 32 percent from the field, while hitting 16 of 20 free-throw attempts.

Baker could not handle the hot shooting of Evangel, which began from the opening tip, as Evangel shot 60 percent in the first half, carrying an 18-point lead into halftime.

The Crusaders didn’t cool off much in the second half, shooting 51 percent for the game and 54 percent from behind the arc.

The Crusaders leading scorer, Caitlin Russell, ended the game with 24 points and four rebounds, while Kristen Link chipped in 15 points off the bench.

While the Wildcats struggled to shoot well in the first half, they came back out for the second half strong, starting the half on a 7-0 run, but couldn’t close the gap.

Gibson led the team with 15 points and nine rebounds, while senior Brittany Hines was close behind with 11 points.

Head coach Susan Decker knew Evangel was a better team than Central Methodist, but feels like the team did not lose much by its loss Saturday.

“The team was caught off guard with the shooting from Evangel,” Decker said. “We just got to work on the consistency, game by game, half by half.”

The team is cleaning up the little things and learning the main focus: consistency.

“We have to put a whole game together,” junior Brooke Sanders said.

The ‘Cats played Avila University at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Kansas City, Mo., but the results of the game were not available at presstime.

BU has five games left in the regular season before it competes in the HAAC Tournament.

The No. 3 through No. 6 seeds in the conference are only separated by one game, and the top four seeds will play a home game in the first round of the HAAC Tournament.

Baker will face Culver-Stockton College at 2 p.m. Saturday in Collins Center.

Culver-Stockton sits at 2-11 in the conference, but knocked off William Jewell College, 8-5 in the HAAC, 61-60 in overtime Saturday.