McPHERSON, Kan. – After their solid performance two days earlier against Langston, Jason Cooper was concerned his Wayland Baptist Flying Queens might “come out flat” against the Sooner Athletic Conference’s last-place team, Central Christian, here Saturday afternoon.
Turns out Cooper had nothing to worry about.
The sixth-ranked Flying Queens were comfortably ahead by 21 points at halftime and, behind second-year freshman Kaitlyn Edgemon’s career-high 27 points, rolled to an easy 110-61 victory.
“I was worried about us coming out flat after a good performance Thursday night, but we had a pretty good start and overall played solid basketball in the first half,” Cooper said.
The Flying Queens (10-1, 4-0 SAC) were even more impressive in the second half, scoring 35 in the third quarter and 30 in the fourth en route to their most points since a 114-63 victory over Central Christian two seasons ago.
“I think the story of the game was the third quarter. We really came out fired up at halftime. We really laid the hammer down on them,” said Cooper, whose team shot 67 percent (14-of-21) from the field in the third. Wayland ended up shooting 52 percent (45-of-86) overall and 46 percent (15-of-33) from 3-point range.
Kaitlyn Edgemon’s 27 points (on 12-of-17 shooting including 3-of-4 from long range) topped six Flying Queens with at least eight points. Kaylee Edgemon added 20 points (on 10-of-13 shooting) to go with seven rebounds, Jenna Cooper 19 points and six assists, and Lara Mason and Jessica Medcalf a season-best 11 points each. Ashlyn Shelley chipped in eight to match her season-high, and Fapou Semebene pulled down a season-best 13 rebounds.
“Kaitlyn had a great scorning night. She was hitting from everywhere. It was a really impressive performance by her. She just keeps getting better and better for us,” Coach Cooper said. “I thought Jenna and Kaylee came out focused and once again put up good numbers. Jenna led us in assists again and Kaylee dropped 20 again. It is just what we expect from them.
“I loved that Lara Mason came in and got going for us. She has a huge upside and I look for big things from her.”
Coach Cooper also complimented sophomore Ashlyn Shelley. “Ashlyn has changed her role this week and my hat’s off to her. It’s tough to go from starter to sixth man. She was our big spark off the bench. It was nice having someone like her coming in and making a big difference. Her contribution on offense with four big assists was instrumental in our 35-point third quarter, which was our best quarter of the year topping the previous-high of 32 on Thursday night.”
Cooper said the Flying Queens benefited from their recent 76-66 loss to No. 21 Concordia (Neb.) in a number of ways.
“Three things we learned from our loss last week: We need points in the paint, we need to dominate the boards, and we need some points off the bench. Today we got 48 points in the paint after putting in 50 in the paint Thursday. We also dominated the boards again with a 52-28 margin today. And, like Thursday, we had great contributions from our reserves who put in 35 points.”
Wayland committed just six turnovers against the Tigers (1-11, 0-6).
The Flying Queens continue their seven-game road trip Tuesday against Oklahoma-Panhandle State in Goodwell at 6 p.m. Going into Saturday’s game against Langston, the Aggies are 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the SAC, having dropped Central Christian last week, 82-41.