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KWU Women Hold Off Culver-Stockton

KSAL Sports - November 12, 2013 6:12 am

After four games on the road in Nebraska in less than a week to start the season, the Kansas Wesleyan Women’s Basketball team was glad to return home to Mabee Arena on Monday night against the Culver-Stockton Wildcats. The Coyotes successfully opened the home portion of the schedule with a 73-61 win.

Vanessa Kresin, who was named KCAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week shortly before the game started, continued the strong start to her season, leading all scorers in the game with 23 points and was one of three Coyotes in double figures.

Wesleyan opened the game on a 9-2 run with 14:18 to go in the first half on a three-point play by freshman Karlie Steinle. Culvers was able to get back with three at the 12:15 mark on a bucket by Brianna Marzette and were within three again at 15-12 with 9:21 to go after a bucket by Randi Lee Plunkett when the Coyotes erupted offensively.

Sparked by a bucket by Kresin, the Coyotes powered out to a 26-14 lead with 6:05 to on another bucket by Kresin. Wesleyan’s lead would hit a half-high 15 points with 1:43 to go when Caley Greving buried a 3-pointer that made it 33-18 and the Coyotes would head into the half leading 33-22.

A bucket by CSC’s Lorrie Peters got the Wildcats back within five, but a three by Alecia Smith would spark a 10-2 run by the Coyotes capped by another triple, this time from Christian Cassity to lead 44-31 with 14:18 to go.

A 13-3 run by Culver-Stockton got the Wildcats back within three points at 47-44 with 11:28 to go on Maddie Embree’s free throw, but the Coyotes were able to answer with four straight points to lead again by seven and would maintain a 5-to-7 point cushion until the 5:34 mark. A bucket by Jasmine Mathews got the Wildcats back within three, but the Coyotes quickly responded, pushing their lead out to 62-54 with 2:53 left.

One more charge by Culver-Stockton saw the Wildcats draw within four at 63-59 with 1:38 left, but six straight points by the Coyotes, all on free throws pushed the lead back out to 10 pints with 32 ticks left and Kresin’s steal and layup with 14 seconds left would cap the scoring.

Wesleyan was 23-of-58 shooting for 39.7 percent in the game, but were just 5-of-22 from 3-point range, but a much improved 64.7 percent from the free throw line as the Coyotes went 22-of-34 from the stripe. Cassity and Smith led the Coyotes with eight rebounds each, while Kresin had seven to go along with five steals.

The Coyotes are on the road this weekend, heading to Siloam Springs, Ark., to play in the John Brown Classic on Friday against John Brown and on Saturday against No. 10 ranked College of the Ozarks.