Baker isn't among the better Heart of America Conference women's basketball squads at field-goal shooting, but it is reasonably competent on the free-throw line -- which it proved Thursday by making 24 of 30 attempts for a 69-58 win at Missouri Valley.
The Lady Wildcats gave themselves a double-digit lead midway through the first half by making four three-pointers, from four different shooters, during an 18-4 run. They were ahead by 14 points well into the second half when the Lady Vikings made a charge.
Senior Holly Siverling sank a pair from the charity stripe and senior Bonnie Johnson racked up seven straight points as Valley cut the margin to 57-50 with under five minutes remaining.
Amazingly, Baker didn't attempt a shot from the floor the rest of the way, a 10-possession stretch. Other than two offensive fouls, the Lady 'Cats went to the line every time they had the ball -- converting 12 of 16 attempts, nine straight at one point -- to actually increase their lead. Baker was 20 of 27 from the stripe during the second half, compared to 10 of 15 for the Lady Vikings.
Junior Lauren Shufelberger had 18 points and freshman Aubree Gustin added 15 for Baker (10-8, 5-3 HAAC).
Johnson's 17 points and 14 rebounds led Valley (7-9, 4-5), which takes a three-game losing streak into Saturday's clash at Benedictine.