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Baker, No. 14 Lady Owls overpower Hannibal-LaGrange 73-61

Senior forward Rachel Baker delivered a game-high 20 points and the No. 14 William Woods University Lady Owls shot 60 percent in Thursday night’s 73-61 AMC victory over Hannibal-LaGrange University at Anderson Arena.

Baker was 9-of-14 from the field to lead four players in double figures for William Woods, which made 30-of-50 shots overall and overcame 17 turnovers. The Lady Owls (16-1, 3-0 American Midwest Conference) also controlled the interior, easily outscoring Hannibal-LaGrange 48-24 in the paint.

Junior guard Sharron Andrews added 17 points for William Woods, which was in front 30-20 at halftime, while senior guard Jill Sutton and junior center Miranda Loesch logged 13 apiece. Baker and junior forward Megan Aubuchon shared team rebounding honors with seven apiece as the Lady Owls battled to a 32-32 deadlock on the boards.

Andrews and Baker both passed out five assists.

Kayla Hruby and Nicole Villalobos came up with 13 points apiece to guide four players in double figures for Hannibal-LaGrange (3-14, 1-2), which shot 36 percent (23-of-64) from the field and ended up with 15 turnovers. Emily Borst chipped in with 11 points and Kayla Smith had 10.

The Lady Trojans have lost nine of their last 10 games.

William Woods dropped one spot in this week’s NAIA Division I Top 25 but has put together a four-game winning streak. The Lady Owls travel to Williams Baptist (Ark.) College for an AMC contest at 2 p.m. Saturday

Westminster basketball (M)........76

Greenville (Ill.) College...............61

The host Blue Jays held the Panthers to a dismal 23-percent shooting effort (7-of-30) in the second half Wednesday night to stay undefeated in the SLIAC.

Senior forward Jake Vislay — connecting on 4-of-9 3-pointers — tallied a game-high 24 points to guide three players in double figures for Westminster College (9-6, 6-0 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). The Blue Jays shot a sizzling 62 percent (13-of-21) in the first half and took a 37-31 lead into halftime.

Senior forward Justin Gilmore produced a double-double, adding 18 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds to direct Westminster to a decisive 42-30 advantage on the boards. Sophomore guard Skylar Tolson, who had a pair of 3-pointers, contributed 12 points as Westminster shot 51 percent (26-of-51) for the game and committed just six turnovers.

Rutger Neece — hitting three 3-pointers — finished with 15 points as the only player to reach double figures for Greenville (7-5, 3-2). The Panthers shot a lackluster 32 percent (18-of-56) overall and had nine turnovers.

The Blue Jays remain at home for a SLIAC matchup against Principia (Ill.) College at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Westminster basketball (W)........83

Greenville (Ill.) College...............65

Head coach Tracey Braden became the winningest coach in school history and the host Lady Blue Jays continued their best-ever SLIAC start with Wednesday night’s 18-point win.

Braden is now 45-43 overall in her fourth season at Westminster College. Meanwhile, the Lady Blue Jays improved to 9-5 this season and 6-0 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Five players scored in double figures Wednesday night for Westminster, which led 42-30 at the break. Junior center Liz Klaffenbach topped the Lady Blue Jays with a game-high 19 points, while junior guards Heather Letourneau and Rachel Backes supplied 17 and 12, respectively, and sophomore guard Kenna Cornelson and freshman guard Leigh Ann Lutz both had 10.

Westminster shot 53 percent (27-of-51) as a team and weathered 18 turnovers. Letourneau pulled down a team-high seven rebounds as the Lady Blue Jays were outrebounded 33-25.

Emmalee Fladland countered with 14 points to lead three players in double figures for Greenville (8-4, 3-2). The Lady Panthers shot 41 percent (20-of-49) from the field and were harried into committing 28 turnovers by Westminster’s pestering defense.

Katelyn Wise chipped in with 13 points for Greenville and Ieisha Adams contributed 10.

The Lady Blue Jays continue their homestand with a SLIAC encounter against Principia (Ill.) College at 1 p.m. Saturday.

•Notes: The 5-foot-4 Backes — a Tipton native — was named the SLIAC women’s player of the week for Jan. 3-9. She averaged 14.0 points, 6.3 assists and 3.0 steals in Westminster’s three victories last week.

In an 83-65 win at MacMurray (Ill.) College on Jan. 4, Backes scored 19 points and was 7-of-11 from the field — including 2-of-2 from 3-point range — and made all three of her free-throw attempts. She also had four assists, two rebounds and two steals.

Backes was then one assist shy of a double-double in a 77-58 home victory over Blackburn (Ill.) College on Jan. 6. She ended up with 12 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals. Backes completed the week with 11 points, six assists and four steals in a 79-72 win at Eureka (Ill.) College on Jan. 8.

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