Junior Clare Youngclaus buried a three-pointer with 22 seconds left Saturday as the Missouri Valley College women's basketball team snapped a three-game skid with a 72-71 Heart of America Conference home win over Baker.
The Lady Wildcats had the lead three times during the final three minutes, but couldn't come up with a stop. Junior Sami Jackson fed freshman Chelsey Merrigan for a game-tying bucket with 1:54 remaining and then made a shot to even the contest again at the 1:09 mark.
Baker regained a two-point edge on senior Gloria Atanmo's inside shot with 49 seconds to go, but Merrigan found Youngclaus open for an outside jumper. The Lady 'Cats had a chance to win, but a jumper by freshman Shelbi Petty was blocked by Jackson and Merrigan collected the rebound as the horn sounded.
It was a good win for the Lady Vikings considering that they had to recover from a 14-point first-half deficit, Baker having gone on a 20-8 run midway through the period.
Jackson spurred the comeback with three bombs and sophomore Ashley Troyer connected from outside the reduce Valley's deficit to seven points with 2:44 left in the half. Junior Ashley Maxwell's bucket narrowed the gap to two points heading into the break.
Neither team could sustain momentum early in the second half, but the Lady Vikings went ahead on Jackson's trey six minutes into the period. A Youngclaus three gave them a nine-point lead with 6:49 left, but a three-minute scoring drought allowed the Lady 'Cats claw back in it.
Atanmo had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Baker (1-10, 0-2 HAAC), which also got 15 points from junior Alisha Fanshier.
Jackson had a season-high 21 points and dealt out four assists for Valley (3-6, 1-1), which has more than a week off before a non-conference contest Dec. 12 at McKendree (Ill.).
The MVC men's team went cold during the second half, shooting 21.1 percent from the field during a 64-47 loss to Baker.
Valley led by six points late in the first half, but junior Corey Anderson made a short jumper and a three-pointer to narrow the gap to one point at the break -- then opened the Wildcats' 18-6 run to begin the second half with a bomb.
Senior Bryan Corley sank two free throws and junior James Pope scored off the offensive glass to get the Vikings back to within six points with five minutes remaining, but Baker answered with a 13-2 run to seal the win.
Anderson's 18 points, six rebounds and three steals paced the Wildcats (9-2, 2-0).
Junior Michael Connor had 15 points for Valley (3-6, 1-1), which hosts Harris-Stowe State on Tuesday.