Flying Queens get back on winning track

Flying Queens get back on winning track
Wayland Baptist (Source: Wayland Baptist University)

Information provided by Wayland Baptist University athletics

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Maci Merket and Jada Riley scored 16 points apiece while Kambrey Blakey and Kendrick Clark put in 16 each as No. 5 Wayland Baptist rallied from behind to post a 79-59 Sooner Athletic Conference win over Bacone College here Saturday afternoon.

The win came on the heels of back-to-back losses for the Flying Queens (10-2, 4-1 SAC), who after falling to No. 3 Campbellsville, Ky., in Hawaii before Christmas bowed to No. 19 John Brown in Arkansas on Thursday, 74-62.

Against Bacone (10-4, 2-3), which had won its last three games after a three-point loss to No. 8 Oklahoma City, Wayland trailed by as many as seven points and were down 34-30 at halftime but outscored the Lady Warriors in the third quarter, 30-12, to take control.

The Flying Queens scored 20 unanswered points over the final 2½ of the third quarter and the first minute of the fourth, expanding a 48-46 lead to 66-46. WBU's largest lead was 25 points.

Wayland stepped up its defense in the second half, holding Bacone to just 28 percent shooting (9-of-32), including 1-of-9 from 3-point range. The Lady Warriors hit just 15-of-28 (54 percent) of their free throws, where the Flying Queens also struggled by going 15-of-25 (60 percent). WBU made 6-of-17 3s (35 percent) and shot 44 percent overall from the field.

The 15 points were a career-high for Blakey, eclipsing the first-year transfer's previous best of 10 in the season-opener.

Blakey and Merket pulled down eight rebounds each, while Riley had five along with five assists and four steals. Nina Sato was credited with five blocks, half of the career-best 10 she tallied against Campbellsville.

Wayland committed 23 turnovers while Bacone had 29.

The Lady Warriors got 21 points from Cierra Miles and 17 from Alyssa Springs.

The Flying Queens play at home for the first time since Dec. 2 when they host University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma at 6 p.m. Thursday. USAO (11-2, 3-1), ranked the equivalent of 33rd in the NAIA, took a five-game winning streak into its game Saturday against Southwestern Christian. The Drovers' last loss was to then No. 1 Oklahoma City, 65-58, on Dec. 14.