Ron Baker plays through pain vs. Indiana State
Updated On: Jan 18 2014 10:21:45 PM CST
Halfway through the second half against Indiana State, the black and yellow clad crowd at Koch Arena gasped in despair.
They all watched as Ron Baker limped his way over to the waiting hands of head athletic trainer Todd Fagan. He sat down and rubbed his left ankle, liked he'd done in the past before heading back to the locker room.
About five minutes later, Baker emerged and returned to the game. And finished it out scoring 16 points in a 68-48 blowout of the Sycamores Saturday.
"I'd love to win by 20 every game," Baker said after the game. "I think this was a pretty big statement and we know that we can play at this type of level."
WSU (19-0, 6-0 MVC) held Indiana State to their lowest point total of the season and walked away with one of their better wins of the season. Exacting revenge on the Sycamores who were the last team to beat WSU in Koch Arena.
Baker wasn't exceptional - for his standards, the standards we've seen - but he was good and all of this on a bad wheel. The same one that he has battled since Tennessee game at Intrust Banka Arena.
"It's progressing, it's getting better but it's still nagging at me," Baker said. "I'd be lying if I said it was 100 percent but it's something I can play through and that's what I'm going to do."
Baker's toughness is engrained in him. It's part of winning football and basketball state championships at Scott City High School. It's part of growing up in western Kansas "toughing things out." No coach can teach it.
"We were just the recipient of some great upbringing that he had out there," Gregg Marshall said of Baker. "Obviously some tough folks. He continues to play on one and a half legs and do it very well."
Baker is avergaing just under 14 points a game and he and Fred Van Vleet continue to impress as one of the best back courts in the country.
"Every time he goes up, I think it's going in," Van Vleet said. "So I want him to shoot more and he did that and when he got that (and one foul) he looked at me and I knew it was on after that."
"Every body likes playing in the big games," Baker said. "Both teams were undefeated, so that's got to give you some excitement as a player."