The Baker University women’s basketball team is headed to the round of 16 after a first-round win in the NAIA National Championships in Billings, Montana. After a close game through the first three quarters, a strong fourth-quarter performance propelled the Wildcats to a 72-56 win over Mobile.
The game remained close through the third quarter, but in the fourth the Wildcats outscored the Rams by 20 points. Baker opened the fourth quarter by going on a 15-1 run.
Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Year Kelsey Larson totaled 26 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter when she hit three 3-pointers in a row. Larson was a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line and went 7-8 from the field and 4-5 from 3-point range.
Senior Kenzie Cook added 16 points and led the team with 10 rebounds. Senior Sydney Buchel also had 10 points and five rebounds for the ‘Cats.
The driving force behind the Mobile offense was senior Starla Daggan. Daggan was named the 2017 Southern States Player of the Year and put up 31 points for the Rams. The Wildcats held Daggan to just two points in the fourth quarter, though.
No. 2 Baker will take on No. 3 Campbellsville in the Round of 16. Campbellsville advanced to the second round by defeating No. Talladega 84-75. Tipoff is set for 12:30 p.m. MST/1:30 CST on Friday.