photo: Claudia Lusk
Wayland Baptist fell behind 13-0 to start the game, and 21st-ranked Concordia (Neb.) went on to hand the No. 3 Flying queens their first loss of the season Saturday afternoon in Hutcherson Center, 76-66.
“I think ultimately we came out flat and ran into a team that was ready to get a big win,” Wayland coach Jason Cooper said after the non-conference game.
The win – in the first-ever meeting between the programs – improved Concordia, which was ranked No. 9 in the NAIA Preseason Top 25, to 5-3 on the season, while Wayland fell to 8-1. The loss snapped a 43-game regular-season winning streak and a 50-game home winning streak for the Flying Queens. Wayland’s last defeat in the Hutch came to Science & Arts of Oklahoma, 71-66, on Jan. 11, 2018.
Starting four freshmen and a junior, Concordia came out with a nothing-to-lose, everything-to-gain game plan and shocked the Flying Queens, who missed twice and turned it over three times in their first five possessions. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, came away with points on all of their first five offensive series, including a pair of 3-pointers, for the early 13-point cushion.
Wayland scored the game’s next six points to close it to seven, but Concordia answered with a 10-0 run, typifying the rest of the game. Every time the Flying Queens made a run to pull close, Concordia turned it back on just in time.
WBU’s largest deficit was 18 early in the second, but the Flying Queens went on a 16-3 push – capped by back-to-back 3s by Jessica Medcalf – to close to 34-29 midway through the period. Once again, though, Concordia found an answer and extended the lead back to 15 before settling for a 49-39 halftime lead.
The cushion ranged from 6-15 points during the third quarter and was 13, 64-51, going into the fourth, which the Bulldogs kicked off with a 3-pointer.
The closest the Flying Queens got after that was seven after a steal and bucket by Kaitlyn Edgemon with about a minute to play, then after Concordia missed a pair of free throws Wayland had a chance to make it closer. But the Queens missed a 3, then misfired on two others down the stretch as the visitors made 3-of-4 free throws to ice it.
“Getting down by 18 was just too much to come back from. We tried to make a few runs and they always seemed to have an answer,” Cooper said.
“I felt like our effort was there in the second, third and fourth quarters, but it was just too little, too late.”
Boosted by a 9-of-17 effort in the first half, Concordia hit twice as many 3s (12-of-30) on just as many chances as Wayland (6-of-13). The Bulldogs were led by Taylor Farrell with 17 points and Taysha Rushton with 15.
Wayland got 16 points from each of the Edgemon sisters, Kaylee and Kaitlyn, 12 from Jenna Cooper and 11 from Angel Hayden. The Queens, who were outscored on the bench, 32-8, shot just 36 percent (24-of-67) from the field.
The game was the last home outing for Wayland until Jan. 6. The Queens play their next seven on the road, starting with a Sooner Athletic Conference game at 6 p.m. Thursday against formidable Langston (7-1, 2-1).