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Bethany Men Hold Off Pesky KWU

Mike Hammett - January 16, 2014 10:03 pm

Kansas Wesleyan kept Bethany’s high-powered offense in check, but the Coyotes couldn’t convert enough opportunities on offense in the 71-63 loss to Bethany on Thursday night at Mabee Arena.

The first half was a hotly contested affair, with Bethany leading by no more than seven points and the Coyotes up by no more than two.

The Coyotes scored off the opening tip, with Dane Brinker putting the Coyotes up 2-0 in the first three seconds. Bethany answered with a thunderous ally-oop to Idris Idris to tie the game at 2.

The game was back-and-forth early, with Wesleyan regaining a 14-12 lead with 12:19 left on free throws by Nick Boehler. Bethany responded with a 10-1 run to go up seven at 22-15 on a basket by Kirby Hawkins with 8:34 remaining.

Back came Wesleyan. The Coyotes scored six straight points, including buckets by Dominique Johnson and Brock Borovetz to get within one at 22-21.

Bethany pushed the lead back to five at 26-21 and again at 30-25. The Coyotes then held the Swedes scoreless for the final 2:37 of the half, as Wesleyan scored the final seven points of the half, including a go-ahead three by Borovetz with four seconds left in the half to make it 32-30 KWU at the break.

In the second half, Bethany opened on fire. The Swedes scored 13 of the first 15 points of the half to take a 43-34 lead on a basket by Idris with 16:44 left. The Swedes would lead by as much as 10 at 46-36 and 49-39.

The Coyotes would answer back with 14 of the next 20 points to close within three at 53-50 on a three by Michael Johnson with 7:51 left.

The Coyotes would then cut the deficit to two on a three by Dylan Hidalgo at 55-53 with 6:58 to go.

However, Bethany answered with a quick three by Jordan Bieberle and a basket by Idris to go up 60-53.

The Coyotes would make it 60-57 on a free throw by Joey Long, but Bethany would stop the turnovers and hit its free throws down the stretch, picking up the 71-63 win.

Kansas Wesleyan was led by 13 points from Brock Borovetz. Bieberle led Bethany with 21 points, while Idris had 18. Bethany had 26 turnovers and was limited to its season low in points. However, the Swedes outrebounded the Coyotes by 13 and the Coyotes shot just 3-for-26 from three-point range.

Kansas Wesleyan falls to 2-15 overall and 0-7 in the KCAC. Bethany improves to 13-5 overall and 6-1 in the league.

Kansas Wesleyan hosts Bethel on Saturday.