No. 21 Lady Owls get back on track, hold off McKendree

Senior forward Rachel Baker tallied a game-high 16 points to help steer the No. 21 William Woods University Lady Owls past McKendree University in a 66-63 AMC win Thursday night.

William Woods, which tumbled seven spots in last week’s NAIA Division I Top 25, improved to 21-2 overall and 8-1 in the American Midwest Conference. The Lady Owls were able to rebound after their eight-game winning streak was halted in a 71-55 conference loss to No. 17 Columbia College on Jan. 29 in Fulton.

Baker was one of three players to score in double figures Thursday night for William Woods, which took a narrow 32-31 lead into halftime. Junior center Miranda Loesch followed with 15 points and junior guard Sharron Andrews provided 10.

The Lady Owls — who turned back McKendree 59-51 on Jan. 6 in Fulton — shot 40 percent (22-of-55) as a team and committed 15 turnovers Thursday night. Baker and Loesch both grabbed seven rebounds as William Woods was edged on the boards 40-38.

Katie Fullerton answered with 12 points to pace McKendree (8-14, 4-5), which also shot 40 percent (25-of-63) from the field and finished with 13 turnovers. Shelby Woelful and Leann Voss contributed 10 points apiece for the Lady Bearcats.

The Lady Owls returned home for an AMC matchup against Harris-Stowe State University on Saturday at Anderson Arena. Results were not available at press time. William Woods demolished Harris-Stowe 86-49 on Jan. 8 in St. Louis.

McKendree University.................81

William Woods basketball (M)....63

LEBANON, Ill. — The Owls shot just 39 percent (22-of-56) and were manhandled on the boards by a 45-26 margin in Thursday night’s American Midwest Conference loss to the Bearcats.

Junior forward Andrew Miller produced 14 points to guide William Woods University (9-14, 3-5 AMC), which trailed 35-24 at halftime. Sophomore forward Elliott Black came off the bench to supply 11 points for the Owls, who ended up with 11 turnovers.

Junior forward Adam Otto and freshman guard Jonathon Nutt led William Woods with four rebounds apiece.

Eric Hobbie and David Ruckman shared game scoring honors with 20 points each to direct McKendree (12-11, 6-2), which rolled past the Owls 82-49 on Jan. 6 in Fulton. Andy Wolff chipped in with 12 points Thursday night for the Bearcats, who shot 52 percent (32-of-62) as a team and recorded 16 turnovers.

The Owls — who have dropped three of their last four — hosted AMC opponent Harris-Stowe State University on Saturday at Anderson Arena. Results were not available at press time. William Woods bowed to Harris-Stowe 82-58 on Jan. 8 in St. Louis.

Lady Blue Jays’ Backes

earns academic honor

Westminster College junior guard Rachel Backes has been named a second-team selection on the 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-District 7 women’s basketball team.

Backes, a biology major from Tipton, leads the Lady Blue Jays and the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in scoring at 15.4 points a game, assists at 4.5 a game, and 3-point shooting at 50 percent (36-of-72).

She is a Dean’s List student and an academic all-SLIAC choice. Backes earned all-conference honors her first two seasons, including first-team status as a sophomore, and she is a three-year captain at Westminster.

Backes is the only SLIAC female or male basketball player to receive the Capital One honor, which recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performance on the court and in the classroom. The all-district team was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Entering Saturday’s conference game at Greenville (Ill.) College, Backes and the Lady Blue Jays (13-5) owned an eight-game winning streak and a two-game lead in the SLIAC at 10-0.

Owls’ Meyer, Stockton

nab AMC track distinction

William Woods University’s Ryan Meyer and Anthony Stockton have been selected the American Midwest Conference men’s indoor track and field athletes of the week, the school announced Thursday.

Meyer — a sophomore from Bonnots Mill — won the 3,000 meters with a time of 8 minutes, 51.52 seconds at the University of Central Missouri Mule Invitational in Warrensburg on Jan. 27.

Stockton, a sophomore from Franklin, Ky., earned the AMC’s field honor for the second straight week after taking second in the weight throw with a toss of 60 feet, 3 3/4 inches at the Mule Invitational. Stockton also finished seventh in the shot put with a throw of 46-8 3/4.

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