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Sterling Rallies Past KWU Men

KSAL Sports - January 23, 2014 6:21 am

STERLING – The Kansas Wesleyan Men’s Basketball team again showed they can hang with some of the top teams in the Kansas Conference. The Coyotes hung with, led, and were right there against the Sterling College Warriors on Wednesday night, but came up just short in a 72-67 decision at the Gleason Center.

Both teams spent the first few minutes of the first half feeling each other out as after six minutes of play the teams were tied 6-6. After that Wesleyan would use a three by Brock Borovetz to spark a 12-5 run to take an 18-11 lead on a three by Dylan Hidalgo.

Sterling came back to tie things up at 20-all on a triple by Darius Alexander, but Wesleyan would maintain the lead until the 4:24 mark of the half when Jamal Green completed a three-point play. The play would give Sterling its first lead since the 17:08 mark in the half..

The advantage traded hands a couple times before Sterling would build a five-point lead with 3:11 left on free throws by Braden Thompson. Wesleyan would get back into it, closing the half on an 8-0 run to take a 35-32 lead into the break on Garret Pasold‘s triple with 1:17 left in the half.

Sterling would tie things up a 42-all with 17:23 to go in the game on a bucket by Thompson, but Dane Brinker would bury a triple to keep the Coyotes in the lead. Again, Sterling tied things at 45-all- but Wesleyan responded again pushing its lead to 49-45 with 14:30 left on a bucket by Braxton Stein.

Wesleyan remained in the lead, pushing its advantage out to eight at 62-54 with 6:21 left on another three by Pasold when Sterling got things going in their direction. Thompson would convert five free throws and Alexander scored for the Warriors to get them back within a point at 62-61 with 4:51 left. Another three by Pasold gave Wesleyan a four-point margin.

Wesleyan again led by four with 3:30 left on a bucket by Borovetz which would turn out to be the final points of the night. The Coyotes would not score the rest of the game as Sterling came back to tie things up at 67-all with 2:28 left and would score its final three points at the free throw line to seal the 72-67 win.

The drought could have been much shorter, but after Sterling turned the ball over with 2:07 left, Alexander cramped up on the sidelines for Sterling while the Coyotes were going in for an uncontested layup. The officials blew the play dead before the Coyotes could score and Wesleyan ened up going empty-handed on the play.

Braden Thompson led Sterling with 24 points, including going 12-of-14 from the line, shooting more free throws as one player than the entire Wesleyan team (7-of-12). Ted Dower had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors as they shot 25-of-64 from the field for 39.1 percent. Sterling was 20-of-27 at the free throw line as a team, compared to Wesleyan’s 7-of-12 at the line.

Michael Johnson led the Coyotes with 13 points, while Dane Brinker had 12 as the Coyotes were 25-of-60 from the field for 41.7 percent and were 10-of-23 from 3-point range for 43.5 percent. Joey Long and Johnson led the Coyotes with six rebounds each.

The Coyotes return home on Saturday, hosting Tabor College to start the second half of Kansas Conference play.