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KWU Women Outlast St. Mary

Mike Hammett - February 6, 2014 7:56 pm

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The Ryan Sports Center and Sister Madonna Fink Court has not been a kind place to Kansas Wesleyan’s women’s basketball team over the years.

It wasn’t again on Thursday night, but this time, the Coyotes ground out an ugly 62-51 win over the Spires.

Early, both teams struggled from the floor. The Coyotes and Spires would trade the lead early before Wesleyan took over on a three-point play by Christian Cassity with 13:22 left in the half.

The Coyotes would push the lead out to as much as six at 17-11, but Saint Mary would battle back. The Coyotes were up 25-19 when the Spires hit back-to-back threes by Jennifer Harmon and Mariah Marusak to tie the game  with 6:08 to go in the half.

The good news for the Coyotes was they held Saint Mary to just two Spire free throws for the rest of the half, with Korbynn Stallbaumer knocking them down with 1:26 left in the half. The downside is the Coyotes closed the half with just five points, retaking the lead on a bucket by Alecia Smith. Wesleyan led 30-27 at the half.

In the second half, the Coyotes were slow out of the gate, but so were the Spires. Wesleyan regained a seven-point lead at 37-30 on a three by Vanessa Kresin with 16:38 left. The Coyotes were up seven at 41-34 when Saint Mary scored six straight points to get back within one at 41-40 with 9:36 remaining.

The Coyotes answered back with a lay-up by Caley Greving to go back up three at 43-40. The Coyotes slowly rebuilt a seven-point lead again at 52-45 on a three by Christian Cassity with 5:02 left.

The Coyotes were able to close out the win at the free throw line, as Saint Mary got no closer than five as the Coyotes scored the final six points of the game to win by its largest lead of the night at 62-51.

Smith led the Coyotes with 22 points, while Cassity added 12 and Kresin had 10 points. Palmer led St. Mary with 16 points.

The Coyotes are now 12-12 and 7-6 in the KCAC, while Saint Mary drops to 3-19 and 2-11 in the league.

Kansas Wesleyan hosts Friends on Saturday, with coverage starting at 4:50pm on Classic Hits 104.9 and online at 1049classichits.com. Tip-off is at 5.

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