Final: (RV) Evangel 86, Baker 71 | Final Stats
Records: Evangel (17-7, 10-5); Baker (11-12, 7-8)
Site: Collins Center
BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Evangel outscored Baker by 19 points in the second half to overcome a four-point halftime deficit and notch its 10th road victory of the season Monday evening with an 86-71 Heart of America Athletic Conference win at the Collins Center.
After Baker rallied from a nine-point, first-half deficit by shooting 55.2 percent from the floor in the opening stanza, the Valor used a 23-5 scoring run over a seven-and-a-half minute stretch of the second period to build a double-digit advantage.
The Wildcats never seriously threatened the EU lead, as the duo of Manrique Alvarado and Stephen Salvi combined for 26 second-half points. Josh Pritchett scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the opening 20 minutes of play, and Cade Coffman added 19 points, 14 rebounds and five steals, including a 4-of-5 second-half shooting performance to help EU's cause.
Evangel started its key run with just over 14 minutes to play, as Salvi sank his lone three-pointer of the game to kick off a stretch over which the sophomore guard registered 12 of the Valor's next 14 points. By the time Salvi was finished, EU held a 61-56 lead. A pair of Pritchett free throws, followed by eight-straight points by Alvarado extended the Valor advantage to 15 points with 6:35 to play.
Baker managed to cut its deficit to nine points on two separate occasions, getting a Kobe Buffalomeat bucket with just over two minutes remaining on the clock to make it an 80-71 contest.
But the Valor responded by scoring the final six points of the night to seal its 12th victory in 15 road and neutral-site games away from the Ashcroft Center this season.
Baker overcame a nine-point EU lead in the opening half, thanks in large part to an offense that knocked down 16-of-29 attempts from the field before taking a 44-40 edge into the break.
The Valor built its early lead behind the play of Pritchett and Coffman, who teamed up to total 23 of Evangel's 40 first-half points. EU led 32-26 when the Wildcats initiated a 15-6 scoring run to take a three-point lead on Jalen Patterson's three-pointer with 3:02 to play in the half.
Evangel, which forced 17 BU turnovers while committing just five for the game, locked in from three-point range and at the foul line in the second half, however. The Valor went 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and drained 10-of-11 free-throw attempts after halftime to help turn the tide.
EU also outscored the Wildcats in the paint by a 34-24 margin and enjoyed a 23-15 edge in bench scoring.
Alvarado finished with 16 points, while Salvi added 18 off the bench to bolster the EU attack.
Evangel returns to the Ashcroft Center Wednesday (Feb. 9) evening for a key Heart Conference South Divisional matchup with Central Methodist at 7:30 p.m.
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