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Friends Women Hold Off Late KWU Rally

Mike Hammett - January 9, 2014 8:45 pm

A 21-2 run over 10-plus minutes allowed the Friends women’s basketball team to establish a 16-point lead, as they hold off a late Kansas Wesleyan charge to take the game 67-65.

The Coyotes had several opportunities to establish a lead against Friends in the first half. The two sides would trade the lead early before Friends used a 10-3 run to take a 13-8 lead on free throws by Kayla Justice.

Kansas Wesleyan would answer back with a 10-2 run, including the final six points from Alecia Smith, taking an 18-15 lead with 9:27 to go in the first half.

That’s when things went south for the Coyotes.

Kansas Wesleyan would not hit another field goal in the first half. Friends would slowly dig out of the three point hole, taking a 21-18 lead with 7:12 to go in the half. The Coyotes would cut the lead to one at 21-20 with 4:17 to go in the half after Smith drew Sarah Munds’, Friends’ leading scorer, third personal foul.

It looked like the Coyotes had an opening with Munds out of the game, but instead, the Friends offense hit overdrive thanks mostly to Kayla Mollere. Mollere would score seven of the half’s final 11 points, leading the Falcons to a 32-20 halftime lead. Friends closed the half on a 17-2 run.

The second half started out poorly, as Friends pushed the lead to 16 at 36-20 on a basket by Mollere.

Kansas Wesleyan would fight back starting there. The Coyotes would cut the lead down to six at 46-40 on a basket by Christian Cassity. However, Friends would score six straight to retake a 12 point lead at 52-40.

The Falcons led by a dozen again at 57-45 with 5:49 left, but the Coyotes would slowly close the gap. The Coyotes closed within five at 59-54 on a three by Katie Pfeifer and a free throw by Vanessa Kresin.

Friends would go up nine again at 67-58 with 37 seconds left, but the Coyotes still had one more push. Katie Pfeifer hit two free throws, and after a Friends turnover, sunk a three to get the Coyotes back within five at 67-62 with 10 seconds left.

Friends would miss the front end of a 1-and-1, and the Coyotes got a three from Shelby Heim, but time expired as Friends held on for the 67-65 win.

Vanessa Kresin led the Coyotes with 19 points, while Alecia Smith had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Christian Cassity added 14 points and Katie Pfeifer had a career high 10 points off the bench.

The Coyotes drop to 7-9 and 2-3 in the KCAC. Friends is 13-4 and 4-1 in the league.

The Coyotes travel to McPherson on Saturday.