The Baker University women’s basketball team could not snap its two-game losing streak Saturday against Graceland University as the Yellowjackets swarmed into Collins Center and left with a 61-43 victory.
The Yellowjackets stung the ‘Cats from the opening tip and jumped out to a 30-11 halftime lead.
“We struggled on Saturday. There is no other way to put it,” head coach Ben Lister said. “We shot three for 27 in the first half and just struggled to make shots. It was disappointing for the girls. I don’t feel like they came out trying to miss shots, but we got rushed a little bit once we started missing shots.”
The Wildcats were led by senior Gloria Atanmo and freshmen Shelbi Petty and Avery Vogts with seven points apiece. Senior Rae Lynne Stewart was the top rebounder for BU by grabbing 10 boards.
“Everyone was just out of their element,” Atanmo said. “We were just really nervous and anxious. We just weren’t ourselves on Saturday.”
Although the Wildcats struggled knocking down shots, Lister was content with how his team defended, possessed and rebounded the basketball.
“Defensively, I thought we did okay,” Lister said. “We gave up 60 (points), but we had as many opportunities as they had to score ... We had probably a season-low on turnovers with 10. We only got out-rebounded by three or four, so we were competitive in some other areas, but we just couldn’t buy a bucket.”
As of Wednesday, the ’Cats are two games behind GU, Culver-Stockton College and Missouri Valley College with two games to play.
“For both games, we really want to come out and leave it all out on the court, come out strong and play to our advantages,” senior Christy Nelson said.
Baker will return home for its regular season finale against Central Methodist University at 2 p.m. Saturday in Collins Center.
“Central Methodist at home is a game when we played there, we had a 10-point lead in the second half and let them get back in the game and come back and beat us,” Lister said. “The kids expect to finish the year strong. I don’t think there is anybody on the team that is going to give up at this point.”
Saturday will also mark the final game in Collins Center for seniors Brooke Soske, Atanmo, Nelson and Stewart, as the four will be honored on Senior Day.
“A lot of emotions come into the picture because I’m flying my mom in town. She’s from Arizona,” Atanmo said. “I haven’t seen her in a couple of months, so having her witness the last basketball game of my career, that in of itself is a big deal to me.”