The 3-pointers were falling early and often for the Wildcats as Joe Wachter, Corey Anderson and Todd Eils all connected from distance in the opening 2:06. Steinlage connected on his 3-pointer at the 12:23 mark for a 6-point lead before Victor Agbasi hit one of his own followed by a jumper to tie the game at 20-20 at the 10:18 mark.
The teams stayed even through the 4:13 mark before the Wildcats finished the half with 7-straight points. Baker got 5-of-6 free throws from three different players before Jordan Honore scored with 33 seconds left to take a 41-34 lead into intermission.
Steinlage started the second half the way he finished the first as he scored twice to give the Wildcats their first double-digit lead of the game. Honore added a bucket at the 15:41 mark that maintained the 11-point edge before Evangel mounted a charge.
Brodie Wingert hit a 3-pointer, then added a jumper after two free throws by Stephen Cotten to ignite a 13-0 run over 3:22. Taylor Sirois finished the spurt with a bucket assited by Mitch McHenry and the Crusaders grabbed their first lead of the half with 12:29 remaining at 49-47.
McHenry knocked down a pair of free throws to keep the two-point cushion, but Baker would reclaim the momentum and go ahead for good. Steinlage was again the catalyst as he tied the score at the 10:29 mark and sparked a 9-0 run for a 58-51 lead.
Honore set up Steinlage for his final field goal of the game with 2:08 remaining. That kept the Baker lead at seven points. Cale Ramsey scored on the next possession, then set up Cotten for a bucket after a turnover by Honore to trim the deficit to four points. However, Kleine missed a 3-pointer with 47 seconds left after another Baker giveaway and the Wildcats hit 5-of-6 free throws to hold on for the win.
Baker’s shooting was the story though as the Wildcats finished the game 26-for-48 (55 percent) from the field and 7-for-13 (54 percent) from beyond the arc. Evangel finished the game just 21-for-62 (34 percent) from the field and 8-for-23 (35 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats move on to face top-ranked MidAmerica Nazarene at 7 p.m., Monday evening at the Cook Center in Olathe, Kan. With the victory, Baker has assured itself a spot in the 75th Annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship, set to be held March 14-20 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.