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KWU Women Try to Bounce Back at Bethel

KSAL Sports - February 20, 2014 6:32 am

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(LIVE STATS | LIVE AUDIO | LIVE VIDEO | KWU TWITTER | BETHEL TWITTERThe Kansas Wesleyan Women’s Basketball returns to action on Thursday heading to North Newton to face the Bethel College Threshers at 6 p.m. at Thresher Gym.

LISTEN AND WATCH LIVE
The game can be heard live in Salina on Classic Hits 104.9 with the ‘Voice of the Coyotes’ Mike Hammett with the call along with Justin Dean. Fans can also listen online atwww.1049classichits.com. Live stats will be available by clicking on the Live Stats link on the KWU Athletics website at www.kwucoyotes.com and live video will be available through the KCAC Digital Network by visiting http://kwucoyotes.ihigh.com.  Bethel will be maintaining the video stream. Updates will also be posted on Twitter (@kwucoyotes).

THE LAST MEETING AND SERIES
Last time the Coyotes and Threshers met, the teams went to overtime with Bethel coming away with a 89-88 win. Bethel tied the game with 20 seconds left in regulation, and the Coyotes had a chance to win the game with 1.8 seconds left, but missed the chances at the game winner. Wesleyan led 44-35 at the half, but Bethel rallied to tie things after regulation and scored seven of the first nine points of the extra session. Bethel’s Lauren Ulrich led the way with 29 points, while April Harpe had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Vanessa Kresin led Wesleyan with 28 points, Christian Cassity added 22 and Alecia Smith had 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Coyotes scored a season high 88 points in the game and had a season high 32 free throws and a season high 48 free throw attempts.

Bethel leads the all-time series 16-15 since 1999-2000.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR KANSAS WESLEYAN (13-14, 8-8)
NO. NAME PPG RPG APG/SPG
12 Christian Cassity (G, 5-11, Sr.) 13.5 6.4
25 Kalie LeShore (G, 5-7, Jr.) 4.3 1.8 2.4 APG
31 Vanessa Kresin (G, 5-9, Jr.) 15.1 5.6 2.0 SPG
32 Alecia Smith (G, 5-10, Sr.) 13.7 8.0
34 Caley Greving (F, 6-1, So.) 4.0 4.2
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR BETHEL (11-15, 5-11 KCAC)
NO. NAME PPG RPG APG/SPG
1 Jessica Ebenkamp (5-4, Jr., G) 4.1 2.9
2 Lauren Ulrich (5-5, So., G) 12.3 2.4
15 Samantha Wilkerson (5-8, Sr., G) 6.5 2.0
30 April Harpe (5-10, Sr., G) 12.7 8.8
31 Taylor Durant (6-0,Jr., F) 8.3 6.0

LOOKING AT THE COYOTES
Wesleyan’s pattern the last five weeks continued last week as the Coyotes won on Thursday, but lost on Saturday in a tough 58-57 decision to Bethany in Lindsborg. Wesleyan’s last weekend win was January 11 against McPherson. However, the Coyotes meet up with Bethel on a Thursday night this time, boding well for Wesleyan as the season wraps up this week. 

Wesleyan is 13-14 overall and 8-8 in the KCAC heading into Thursday’s game at Bethel. The Coyotes are looking to rebound from their 58-57 loss to Bethany. Wesleyan got off to a slow start and struggled to recover in the first half, shooting just 26.1 percent in the second half and was scoreless for 7-and-a-half minutes during the half as Bethany built an 18-7 lead. Bethany would not score for the final 4:24 of the first half as Wesleyan rallied to trail by seven at the break 25-18. Bethany led 43-34 with 11:24 left when the Coyotes would rally to tie things with 6:56 left and a three by Katie Pfeifer gave Wesleyan a 48-45 lead with 5:21 to go. Bethany took a 56-54 lead with 20 seconds left and extended the lead to four with eight seconds to go. Pfeifer hit a three with two seconds left and the Coyotes fouled Alex Brammer with one second left and she would miss both free throws, including an airball on the second giving the Coyotes a chance with a game winning shot that fell just short. Christian Cassity led the Coyotes with 13 points and Alecia Smith had nine rebounds for the Coyotes. 

Vanessa Kresin continues to lead the Coyotes in scoring at 15.1 points per game and ranks second in the KCAC in scoring.Alecia Smith ranks sixth in the conference in scoring at 13.7 per game, but leads the Coyotes in rebounding, averaging 8.0 per game which ranks third best in the conference. The Coyotes shoot 38.6 percent from the field on the way to averaging 66.8 points per game. Wesleyan also pulls down 40.7 rebounds per game. Wesleyan holds its opponents to 37.8 percent shooting while averaging 65 points per game and pulling down 40.8 rebounds per game. 

Wesleyan ranks No. 14 in defensive 3-point percentage (.281), No. 27 in blocks per game (3.519) and total blocks (27), No. 31 in scoring defense (65.000), No. 36 in defensive field goal percentage (.378) and No. 37 in defensive rebounds per game (28.333). 

Alecia Smith ranks No. 38 in defensive rebounds per game (5.815), No. 45 in total rebounds (217) and No. 49 in rebounding (8.037). Christian Cassity ranks No. 42 in blocks (32) and No. 49 in blocks per game (1.185). 

MILESTONE ALERTS
Several Coyotes are approaching milestones in their careers at KWU. Alecia Smith needs just 16 points to hit 1000 for her 3-year career at Wesleyan. Kresin is averaging a career best 15.1 points per game this season helping her to close in on the 1000-point milestone as a junior. Kresin needs 37 points to reach the mark and a good finish to the season could give her a golden opportunity to break the Wesleyan all-time career scoring record that has stood for 29 years next season. Senior Christian Cassity also has a chance to reach 1000 points this season, needing 47 to reach the mark. 

LOOKING AT BETHEL
Bethel enters Thursday’s game with an 11-15 record overall and a 5-11 mark in the KCAC. The Threshers have lost five of their last six games including a 69-57 loss to Friends last Saturday. Taylor Durant led Bethel with 18 points while April Harpe had nine points and 13 rebounds in the loss. Friends forced Bethel into 19 turnovers and 34.5 percent shooting. Bethel did outrebound Friends 38-31. Kayla Mollere and Sarah Munds with 22 points each while the Falcons shot 51.9 percent from the field. 

April Harpe leads Bethel in scoring at 12.7 points per game and in rebounding at 8.8 per game, which also leads the KCAC. Bethel’s starting lineup (Ebenkamp, Ulrich, Wilkerson, Harpe, Durant) has been the same for all but two games this season. Jessica Ebenkamp is the older sister of Wesleyan player Chelsea Ebenkamp. Bethel shoots 36 percent from the field as a team and pulls down an average of 39.2 rebounds per game and scores an average of 60.7 points per game. 

Bethel ranks No. 25 in the NAIA in offensive rebounds per game (14.692) and No. 33 in scoring defense (65.269). April Harpe ranks No. 18 in offensive rebounds per game (3.846), No. 23 in field goal percentage (.531), No. 32 in total rebounds (228) and No. 36 in rebounding average (8.769). 

UP NEXT FOR THE COYOTES
Wesleyan hosts Sterling in the regular season finale on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Mabee Arena. The KCAC Postseason Tournament begins on Wednesday with quarterfinal games at the home site of the higher seed.

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