No. 3 Flying Queens celebrate milestone win with victory over another unbeaten

No. 3 Flying Queens celebrate milestone win with victory over another unbeaten


photo: Claudia Lusk


It was a battle most of the way, but third-ranked Wayland Baptist remained undefeated and handed Mid-America Christian its first loss of the season as the Flying Queens prevailed in a showdown of Sooner Athletic Conference unbeaten Saturday afternoon in Hutcherson Center, 77-68.
“Today we played great team basketball. To have 19 assists is a huge testament to our players’ commitment to success. Our overall execution on both ends of the floor was the best it has been all season,” Wayland coach Jason Cooper said.
Boosted by a pregame banner presentation marking their recent 1,700th program victory, Wayland Baptist rallied from an early deficit to lead by as many as 18 points before settling for the nine-point triumph.
“The level of communication on the defensive resulted in holding a high-powered offense that averaged 90 points per game to just 66 points and also holding a 40 percent three-point shooting team to 25 percent for the game. That’s team defense, right there, and that was the biggest difference today,” Cooper said.
Wayland (8-0, 2-0 SAC) got 23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two blocks from Jenna Cooper, and 20 points and five boards from Kaylee EdgemonAngel Hayden added 12 points, seven boards and five assists as she played against former Canyon High School teammate Lexi Hernandez, and Kaitlyn Edgemon chipped in 11 points with three blocks.
“When you play a good team like MACU and you have four people in double-digit scoring, that’s something to be excited about,” Coach Cooper said. “Jenna played a tremendous all-around game. She is really locked in on the team’s success. When you lead the team in scoring that is a big deal, but Jenna also led us in a rebounds and assists. That’s again a testament to our unselfish team play.
“Both Edgemons shot 50 percent from the floor and played great all-around basketball, too. I loved it when they both turned around, squared up and hit jumpers in their defenders’ faces. 
“Angel stepped up and knocked down three-quarters of our 3-pointers. I think some people believe she can’t shoot and they decide to play off of her, but this is the second time she has torched our opponents and made them pay for it.
“I thought Lefty (Fapou Semebene) had her best performance of the year (5 points, 5 rebounds). She is starting to figure some things out. When she plays like she did today, look out! We become very tough to score on and very tough to defend.”
MACU (8-1, 1-1) scored the first six points of the game, but Wayland quickly overcame it with a 9-2 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Cooper and Hayden.
The Queens doubled their four-point, 20-16 lead after the first quarter to eight, 38-30, by halftime.
“The biggest play of the game was when Kaylee and Kaitlyn connected on that long pass right before half. That was a huge momentum swing. Kaylee made a great pass and Kaitlyn did her best Odell Beckham impersonation and caught that ball in between two defenders,” Coach Cooper said.
Semebene scored three straight to put Wayland up 18, 53-35, midway through the third, but MACU didn’t go away.
The Evangels cut a 15-point deficit to just seven over a span of just 90 seconds, pulling to within 67-60 with 4:06 left in the game. An and-one by Kaylee Edgemon then a 3-pointer by Jessica Medcalf were answered by 3s from the Evangels, who had a chance to cut it to four but missed a 3. Cooper sank a pair of free throws with 43 seconds to go and again 20 seconds later to seal it after another errant MACU 3. Cooper was perfect on five free throws.
Both teams hit eight 3s, although it took MACU 32 attempts compared to 23 for Wayland, which overcame 18 turnovers. Hayden hit three of the Queens’ 3.
Wayland takes a week off before a non-conference home game at 11 a.m. next Saturday against No. 21 Concordia (Neb.).

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