The Baker University men's basketball team never could find a rhythm offensively in its 69-53 loss to No. 14 Evangel University Wednesday in Collins Center.
Head coach Brett Ballard had to constantly substitute his players due to foul trouble as the Wildcats committed 22 team fouls. The post players were affected the most with senior Jack Shortell fouling out after less than nine minutes of total playing time and junior Samer Jassar and Ryan Douvier being saddled with four and three fouls, respectively.
"It was huge," junior Ben Steinlage said. "Those three guys are all leaders for us and all give a spark. We just got to sit down and guard better."
The Crusaders had their own issue with foul trouble as well, as they committed 20 fouls in the matchup, but the Wildcats only knocked down 11 of their 23 free throw attempts.
Baker was led by Steinlage and junior Jordan Honore, who recorded 13 points apiece.
While the Wildcats showed a man-to-man and a couple of different zone defenses, Zack Kleine, who led Evangel with 22 points, and the Crusaders still found a way to pull away from the Wildcats.
"We didn't come out with very good intensity at the start of the game and they got into a flow," Steinlage said. "That makes it hard for us to stop them."
The Wildcats dropped to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in the HAAC. BU will be back in action in the San Diego Classic Dec. 29-30 against Point Loma University and San Diego Christian College.