Near-perfect free-throw effort helps No. 5 Queens

Near-perfect free-throw effort helps No. 5 Queens
Wayland Baptist (Source: Wayland Baptist University)

Information provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics

BETHANY, Okla. – Playing for the first time in two weeks, it took the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens some time to knock the rust off. They finally did, however, and the fifth-ranked Flying Queens rode the near double-double of Nina Sato and a near-perfect free throw performance to a 79-50 victory over Southwestern Christian in Sooner Athletic Conference play here Saturday afternoon.

SCU (5-4, 2-2 SAC) scored the first seven points of the game before Wayland (7-0, 3-0) got on the board on a bucket by Kendrick Clark more than halfway through the first quarter.

The Flying Queens took their first lead 3½ minutes into the second period when a 3-pointer by Gabby Gonzales put Wayland up 16-15.
WBU never trailed again.

Ahead 31-25 at the half, Wayland's lead was still six, 39-33, when the Flying Queens scored 12 straight points to begin pulling away late in the third quarter. Sato accounted for eight of those dozen points.

WBU's lead was 20, 57-37, after three. The Flying Queens kept pushing the rest of the way and realized their biggest lead, 29 points, at the final margin.

Sato finished with a season-high 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Jada Riley also reached a season-best with 11 points. Kambrey Blakey finished with nine and Gonzales eight.

Maci Merket finished with just two points but contributed eight rebounds. Deborah VanDijk and Kelea Pool pulled down seven boards apiece. Morgan Bennett ended with six assists, five points, four rebounds and three steals.

Wayland hit 12-of-13 free throws (92 percent), with Sato's 4-for-4 effort leading the way.

The Flying Queens dominated the boards, 55-29, leading to an 83-55 field-goal attempts advantage. Of their 83 tries, Wayland made 31 (37 percent), including 5-of-22 3-pointers (23 percent).

The Eagles turned it over 25 times, nine more than Wayland.

Next for the Flying Queens is the Hoop & Surf Classic in Waikiki, Hawaii. Wayland takes on Saint Xavier, Ill., on Tuesday then No. 6 Campbellsville, Ky., on Wednesday. Conference play resumes Jan. 4 in Arkansas against No. 12 John Brown. WBU's next home game is Jan. 11.