Score: Evangel 93, Baker 84 | Box Score
Records: Evangel (13-8, 9-6); Baker (10-11, 8-8)
Location: Baldwin City, Kan. | Collins Center
The Crusaders (13-8, 9-6) went back and forth with Baker (10-11, 8-8) throughout the first half. Evangel has won four in a row heading into Saturday meeting with league leading William Penn as the Crusaders sit just 3.5 games behind the Statesmen.
The Wildcats would get a shot at the buzzer to go up 44-40 at halftime and use some of that momentum to lead by as many as eight early in the second half.
However, a trio of free throws with 8:53 left in the game from Cade Coffman helped Evangel pull within two, 70-68. Coffman would post his third consecutive 20-point game as the sophomore finished with 27.
"It took awhile to string together some stops on defense tonight," said head coach Steve Jenkins. "It always seems tougher on the road. But once we were able to get those stops, we made a few shots and things started to roll."
Nate Davis would tie the game just over a minute later before Clark Brewington drilled a deep three-pointer to put the Crusaders up 75-72. Baker would take a brief one-point lead at the 5:22 mark but an and-1 from Ike Egwu gave Evangel the lead back and they would not look back.
Brewington finished with 10 of his 18 points in the second half as he and Coffman both knocked down four three-pointers. The duo also helped seal the game at the free throw line as Coffman finished 11 of 12 from the stripe and Brewington was 4 for 4 as the Crusaders finished 28 of 33 and 84 percent at the free throw line.
"I'm very proud of our guys and the way they fought tonight," Jenkins added. "We had some guys step up and make some big free throws to help win a hard fought game. Really proud of guys!"
Davis tallied 19 points and five assists for Evangel in the win, while Egwu also finished in double figures with 10 points.
Baker shot 65 percent from the field in the first half but turned the ball over 18 times, while Evangel committed just eight turnovers.
Kobe Buffalomeat led the Wildcats with 16 points as Brandon Clifford chipped in 14 and pulled down six boards.
Evangel returns to the Ashcroft Center to face conference leader and 3rd-ranked William Penn on Saturday. Tipoff from the Ashcroft Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.