Streak Ends at Hands of #13 Baker

The Statesmen couldn't overtake #13 Baker on Saturday.

The Statesmen couldn’t overtake #13 Baker on Saturday.

by Wade Steinlage

Oskaloosa–Vashti Nwagbaraocha (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis., Exercise Science) had a career night and the Statesmen women’s basketball team was outstanding in the fourth quarter, but WPU could not overcome a sizeable deficit in an 86-77 Heart of America Athletic Conference loss to #13 Baker Saturday.

William Penn (13-5, 7-2 Heart) fell out of a tie for first place in the league (still first in the North Division) as it was outshot 54.5%-41.5%. The loss ends the squad’s four-game winning streak.

The navy and gold gave the Wildcats (16-4, 7-2 Heart) a good battle early on, leading 10-9 with 4:03 left in the first quarter. BU captured the edge a few seconds later, though, and unfortunately closed out the period with eight straight points to lead 25-14.

The second stanza was not much better for the home squad as it fell behind 46-24 by halftime. Baker pulled away by making 10 of its 17 three-point attempts; the squad slowed down in the second half, but still ended up 13-for-23. Conversely, WPU was just 3-for-11 from deep.

The Statesmen started to turn the corner after intermission, playing nearly even with the visitors in the third quarter, being outscored just 22-19. The margin was still 25 with 7:05 remaining in regulation, but William Penn suddenly caught fire on both ends with 15 straight points to make it a 10-game with 3:08 still left.

Nwagbaraocha managed seven points during the streak and tallied 20 in the fourth quarter (30 in the second half). The hosts put quite a scare into the Wildcats, but unfortunately never drew closer than seven points down the stretch.

Nwagbaraocha finished the afternoon with a career-high 36 points on 13-for-20 shooting; it is her second 30-point game in the last two weeks. The junior, who was also 10-for-17 at the charity stripe, also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. She paced WPU with two steals as well.

Nwagbaraocha’s 36 points ties for third-most in program history.

Kate Ylitalo (So., Maple Plain, Minn., Biology) also reached double figures with 12 points, while Jenna Santi (Jr., Oak Creek, Wis., Elementary Education) narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine assists.

Shamiah Oliver (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Education) contributed six points as well.

“This was a tough loss,” Head Coach Steve Williamson said. “I am disappointed that we did not buy into our game plan and limit their outside shooting. Offensively, we need to learn we are better when we play team basketball and create for our teammates, and not look just for our individual shots.”

“I give Baker a lot of credit,” Williamson added. “They are a heck of a program and are very well coached and played as a team for 40 minutes.”

Next Up: William Penn remains in Oskaloosa next Wednesday to host Missouri Valley in Heart action at 5:30 p.m.



Posted by on Jan 21 2018. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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