(AP) — Angel Baker scored 23 points and top-seeded Wright State used a 14-0 run in the second half to beat defending champion IUPIU 53-41 on Tuesday in the Horizon League championship for its second NCAA Tournament bid in three seasons.
Baker, averaging 26 points in the tournament, outdueled three-time player of the year Macee Williams — who scored every second-half point (16) for IUPUI.
Williams started to take over at the beginning of the third quarter by scoring all of IUPUI’s 11 points for a 36-30 lead, but the Jaguars did not score in the final 5:34. Baker made 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give Wright State a 38-36 lead entering the fourth.
Wright State stated the fourth on a 10-2 run for the first double-digit lead of the game at 48-38 as IUPUI went without a field goal for 13-plus minutes of the second half — missing 14 straight shots.
IUPUI made just one field goal and three free throws in the fourth, finishing at 25% from the field. The Jaguars entered ranked 12th in the nation at 38% shooting from 3-point range, but missed all 15 attempts against Wright State.
Tyler Frierson had nine points and eight rebounds and Jada Wright added a career-high 12 rebounds for Wright State (18-7), which ranks fourth in Division I averaging 16.7 offensive rebounds per game. Baker, who returned home to Indianapolis where she averaged 22.7 points in her senior season at Pike High School, was 10 of 16 from the field with three 3-pointers.
Williams, IUPUI’s all-time scoring leader, was 10 of 22 from the field with 13 rebounds for fifth-seeded IUPUI (15-5). Rachel McLimore was held to seven points on 2-of-14 shooting.
The teams did not play in the regular season after two games were canceled as a result of COVID-19 issues within the IUPUI program. The Jaguars were looking for their first NCAA Tournament appearance after last season was cut short.