Score: Evangel 74, Baker 68
Records: Evangel (5-1, 3-1), Baker (5-4, 4-3)
Location: Collins Center
BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Brianna Vogts' career-high 25 points fueled another strong road performance by the Evangel women's basketball team, which used a 9-0 fourth-quarter scoring run to edge Baker, 74-68 Saturday afternoon at the Collins Center.
The Crusaders won for the ninth time in their last 10 regular-season road games thanks in large part to Vogts' second-straight double-double. The junior also grabbed 13 rebounds and finished 9-of-16 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the foul line to lead EU.
"We're thankful to string together two road wins," Crusaders head coach Megan Leuzinger commented. "Winning on the road in conference is never easy. But we're continuing to find ways to grind out victories, even when our shots don't fall."
Vogts keyed a string of seven unanswered EU points within a 39-second span, knocking down a field goal with 7:56 to play to break a 50-50 deadlock. Harley Maxwell pulled down on offensive rebound and converted a second-chance bucket on the Crusaders' next possession to make it a four-point game, before Bayley Harman sank a three-pointer with 7:17 left in regulation for a 57-50 Crusader lead.
After a Vogts rebound of a Baker miss, Alexis Cauthon drained a jumper to cap the run, giving Evangel its largest lead of the afternoon.
Baker chipped away at the Crusader cushion, using four Kinly Grubb free throws and an Emma Cunningham basket to mount a 6-0 run that pulled the Wildcats to within two points with just under two minutes to play.
But the Crusaders had an answer in the tandem of Vogts and Logan Jones, who combined to score the next seven points to stretch the EU lead back to nine. Vogts tallied nine points in the fourth period on the heels of a 10-point third quarter in which she went 4-of-4 from the floor.
EU rallied from a six-point first-period deficit, after Baker logged a 9-0 spurt to close the quarter. The Crusaders struggled offensively throughout the game's first 20 minutes, shooting just 25-percent from the field (10-for-40) in the half.
But Vogts set off another scoring run with her bucket at the 6:30 mark, leading to eight unanswered Evangel points and a 28-24 lead. After taking a one-point advantage into intermission, EU traded the lead with the Wildcats several times in the opening minutes of the third period, before a Jones bucket with 2:59 left on the clock started an 8-1 outburst.
The Wildcats trimmed the margin to one point with five straight points to finish the quarter, but Zoey Mullings three-pointer just 21 seconds into the fourth gave the Crusaders some breathing room. It would last just a minute and a half, as Cunningham knocked down a jumper and Leah Van Weelden connected on a pair of free throw tries to level the score at 50-50.
But it would be all Evangel from there, starting with Vogts' basket off of a feed from Sadie Chisum and ending with two successful free throws by Harman with two seconds to play that sealed the win.
Harman finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards, and Jones totaled 12 points with her 8-of-10 effort at the charity stripe.
EU rebounded to shoot 0.429 (12-for-28) in the second half and finished 23-of 31 (0.742) at the foul line for the game.
Grubb paced four double-digit Baker scorers with 15 points and five assists, while Cunningham delivered a 12-point, 13-rebound effort.
Evangel returns to the Ashcroft Center for a pair of games next week before breaking for the holiday season. The Crusaders will host Clarke in a Noon contest on Tuesday (Dec. 15), before taking on No. 25 Our Lady of the Lake in a 2 p.m. game on Friday (Dec. 18).
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics, Twitter (@EUAthletics), or visit EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the new Evangel Crusaders GamedayApp through Google Play.