Women’s basketball team earns consecutive victories against PSC, CSC

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Women’s basketball team earns consecutive victories against PSC, CSC

Patrick Howell

Patrick Howell

Patrick Howell

Story by Sara

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After suffering from an overtime loss at Evangel University Feb. 4, the Baker University women’s basketball team bounced back by grabbing a pair of wins against conference opponents in Peru State College and Culver-Stockton College.

The team started its winning streak against Peru State Feb. 9. The ‘Cats held a 32-29 halftime lead, but outscored Peru State by 19 points in the second half to push them to an 80-58 win.

“I told the girls it was probably one of our best 20 minutes of basketball,” head coach Ben Lister said. “We played with a lot of energy, took care of the basketball and just did a lot of things well that second half.”

Junior Christy Nelson said the team came into the second half with a new energy that helped drive it to the win.

“We had confidence in the second half,” Nelson said. “And I think that boosted us up a little bit more with how we were playing (defensively and offensively).”

Freshman Shelbi Petty continued her consistent shooting and paced the team with 17 points, while junior Alisha Fanshier finished the game with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Lister said the team’s momentum carried over into its next game, which helped the ‘Cats steal a 67-61 win against Culver-Stockton Saturday.

The Wildcats owned a six-point lead at halftime, and that deficit proved to be just enough as both teams scored 35 points during the second half.

With one minute left to play, Culver-Stockton began to foul in an attempt to cut into the ‘Cats’ three-point lead. However, Baker responded by sinking seven of eight free throws in the final minute of play to seal its seventh overall victory.

Senior Gloria Atanmo finished the game with a double-double, contributing 18 points and 16 rebounds. Fanshier added another 18 points for the ‘Cats.

Lister said the pair of wins not only gave the team confidence going into its final four games of the regular season but also gave it a better opportunity to make a run at the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament.

The Wildcats have previously lost to all four of the remaining teams on their schedule, but freshman Haleigh Tenpenny believes the team can benefit from seeing each opponent again.

“The second time playing them we will know what the team does and have a better scouting report,” Tenpenny said. “And we can use that to our advantage.”

The Wildcats are in a position to finish as high as fifth place in the conference or possibly miss the conference tournament entirely, but Lister is optimistic about his team’s chances after winning the past two contests.

“They’ve got some motivation to go out and prove that they can beat some of these teams,” Lister said. “I’m excited about where they are at mentally as far as competing against these teams and having the opportunity to knock off some of the top teams in our conference.”