OKLAHOMA CITY – Kaylee Edgemon scored 24 points and pulled down 19 rebounds – one short of a program record – while Jenna Cooper added 21 points to lead the No. 2 Wayland Baptist Flying Queens to a season-opening 84-72 victory over Mid-America Christian here Thursday night.
Payton Brown and freshman Kaitlyn Edgemon also scored in double digits with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Tayjanna McGehee-Pleasant ended with 11 rebounds and five blocks. Cooper added seven boards and seven assists, while Kaylee Edgemon had six helpers.
“It was a good outing for the first game. Mostly, the girls were just happy to get out there and play,” Flying Queens coach Alesha Ellis said. “It always takes some time to get that chemistry and for everybody to know their role and get the offense going. At times it looked good. It wasn’t always pretty but I thought we did a lot of good things out there.”
Wayland trailed only once in the game, 11-10 in the first quarter. The Flying Queens scored the next eight points – including half of Brown’s four 3-pointers – to take the lead for good.
“MACU is always a good team,” Ellis said. “They’re high-energy, and because of that they’re a scary team to play.”
WBU was ahead 19-14 after the first period and 38-27 at the half. MACU (2-1) pulled to within six, 47-41, midway through the third, but Cooper drained three straight 3-pointers as the Queens began expanding their lead.
Wayland was up 63-53 early in the fourth when the Queens went on a 10-0 run, with Kaylee Edgemon scoring all 10. WBU’s largest lead was 21, 80-59.
The 19 rebounds were one short of the Flying Queens record, held since 1995 by Ulla Madsen, a 6-foot-6 Swede.
“She’s just a player,” Ellis said of Edgemon. “She has a dominant presence in the paint.”
The Flying Queens held a 55-37 rebounding edge, including a dominating 20-4 advantage on the offensive glass. Wayland ended with 15 second-chance points, compared to three for MACU.
“I was really proud of our offensive boards,” Ellis said.
It was MACU’s first loss of the season. The Evangels went over the century mark in both of their first two wins, 102-93 over Oklahoma Wesleyan and 116-31 over Baptist Bible (Mo.).
Wayland shot 40 percent from the field, including 32 percent (10-of-31) from 3-point range.
“I don’t think we shot the best we could. When we start knocking down some of those signatures shots, I think we’ll be pretty good.”
MACU hit 5-of-23 3s.
“We were focusing on running them off the three. We only gave up five, so we were happy there,” Ellis said.
The coach said the Queens have to cut down turnovers (they had 17), although freshman Kaylee Rendon, who started, did not give it away any in 18 minutes. Rendon also posted eight points with four rebounds and two assists.
“Kaitlyn is going to be a player. That’s really tough on a freshman, especially against a team like MACU. She had a solid game,” Ellis said of one of the team’s five freshmen who saw action. “Those freshmen all got to go in and play against a pressure defense…the most pressure we’ll face…which will be helpful.
Ellis also praised Brown and McGhee-Pleasant, a sophomore who made her first career start.
“Payton did her thing, and Tay came out and did some good things.
“We have some really dominant players if, as coaches, we can put them in the right position.”
Wayland returns to action at 2 p.m. Saturday at Science & Arts of Oklahoma, which like MACU will be 2-0 when they take the floor. The Drovers defeated Southwestern (Kan.), 87-60, and Bethel (Kan.), 75-65, in their first two outings.