Women’s basketball team loses lead to CSC in Collins

Story by Kyle Davis

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A 44-34 lead with 14:09 remaining in the game was not enough for the Baker University women’s basketball team to hold off Culver-Stockton College Saturday, and instead Baker was handed its third-straight loss.

Culver-Stockton was 3-18 heading into the contest in Collins Center, but has found a hot streak, winning its last three games as of Wednesday.

Baker was on the opposite end, going 2-6 in its last eight games.

The Baker Wildcats started the second half on an 11-3 run to lead by 10. In the next five minutes, Culver-Stockton answered with a run of its own, cutting the lead to three.

The teams exchanged baskets, and the lead, until Culver-Stockton pulled away in the final seconds of the matchup for the five-point victory.

“The thing that I’m probably most disappointed in is we just couldn’t make plays when we needed to down the stretch,” head coach Susan Decker said. “We couldn’t get stops defensively. We couldn’t make shots. We get up 10 or so on them, and we can’t put the game away.”

Senior Brittany Hines scored a team-high 16 points for Baker, despite only hitting one of eight 3-point attempts.

Hines wasn’t the only one struggling from behind the arc, as the team combined for 4-19 from 3-point range.

Seniors Emily Gibson and Aubree Gustin also scored in double figures, scoring 14 and 10 points respectively.

“I think we need to not think about the past …  and we just can’t play with the not-to-lose attitude, which I think we have been doing,” senior Audrey Bryant said. “We need to play to win every time and just take it game by game and not bring, I guess, a loss from Culver into Thursday and Saturday.”

The Wildcats were not able to slow down Culver-Stockton, which was led by junior Ashley Berry.

Berry scored a game-high 20 points against Baker, to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.

Decker said after the loss to Avila University Feb. 10, she expected the team to come out and perform better against Culver-Stockton and the team has no momentum going into the last four games of the season.

“It’ll be an interesting two weeks to see how we really respond,” Decker said.

Baker looked to bounce back against rival William Jewell College, who the Wildcats beat 64-56 Jan. 13, Thursday in Liberty, Mo., but results were not available at presstime.

“I know we need to have really good practices this week going into the (William Jewell) game, and I know we also need to have a really good game to get our spark back,” Hines said.

The Wildcats will return home to play Missouri Valley College, 5-10 in the HAAC and 7-20 overall, at 2 p.m. Saturday in Collins Center.

“I think we’re fighting to get the highest seed we can before conference play and just take it one game at a time,” Bryant said.