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02.28.13 | Men's Basketball

MNU Ends Baker's Season in Thriller

Jordan Honore made some big shots down the stretch for Baker Jordan Honore made some big shots down the stretch for Baker

OLATHE, Kan. – In one of the most exciting games of the 2012-13 season, the Baker University men's basketball team didn't go down without a fight as they ended its season in a 69-68 road loss at No. 3 seeded MidAmerica Nazarene on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament.

Baker trailed by as many as nine points with 4:08 to play but continued to dig into that lead with a bucket by Todd Eils to cut the lead to seven, 64-57.

Eils then cut the lead to just four with 2:22 to go with a bucket at 65-61. Rustin Dowd then made one free-throw to put MNU up five. Baker's EJ Carter then knocked down a basket in the paint to cut the lead to three, 66-63.

With 46 seconds left senior Jordan Honore went to the free throw line with Baker down 67-65.

He missed the first of two, then made the second to put Baker down one, 67-66. Honore went down the floor on Baker's next possession and knocked down a jumper with eight seconds left to give the Wildcats its first lead since the 3:16 mark in the first half.

But MNU went down for the floor for one final shot and Jacob French knocked in a bucket in the paint right before the buzzer sounded to advance the Pioneers into the HAAC Semifinals.

The Pioneers will now take on No. 2 seeded Culver-Stockton on Saturday afternoon. With the win MidAmerica improves to 23-8 on the year, while Baker ends its first season under head coach Sean Dooley 15-14.

Second-Team All-Conference performer Ben Steinlage led all scorers with 16 points and was nearly perfect from the free throw line, shooting 8-of-9 and teammate Corey Anderson was perfect from the line on 10-of-10. In fact, the Wildcats kept themselves in the game with their outstanding free throw shooting, 85.7-percent on 24-of-28.

Baker dominated the boards, outrebounding the Pioneers, 32-23 and allowed just four MNU offensive rebounds. They also held the Pioneers to just 11.1-percent from behind the arc, on 1-of-9.

STATS: Baker 68 – MNU 69


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