The Bethany Swedes women’s basketball team made history Saturday night in Salina. The Swedes won their first ever game at Mabee Arena, and snapped a 13 game road losing streak to Kansas Wesleyan, 77-67.
Bethany guard Kelsi Mueller exploded for 20 of her 25 points in the second half, including 16 straight for the blue and gold clad Swedes. Bethany won the final two quarters 52-30.
After leading 4-0, Kansas Wesleyan outscored Bethany 27-8 and built a 27-12 advantage through a quarter of play. Ice cold shooting plagued Bethany, with the Swedes missing their first 16 three-pointers.
In the second half, shots starting falling. Bethany hit 9 of their final 13 triples, extending their single season school record for threes.
Bethany won the rebounding battle 57-43, and had 20 offensive rebounds. Sena Aktas finished the game with 13 points, and 12 rebounds, with all of her points coming in the second half.
With the win, Bethany draws the 5-seed for the KCAC Tournament. The Swedes play Wednesday at Bethel, with pregame coverage at 6:45pm on KVOB 95.5 The Rock.
Bethany 54, Kansas Wesleyan 53
Not to be outdone by the women’s game, the nightcap also featured plenty of fireworks.
Bethany guard Tyler Larkin scored the Swedes final 10 points of the contest, and was the only Bethany to score in the final eight minutes. Larkin had a critical and-1 with a 1:06 to play, giving Bethany their first lead of the second half, 52-51.
After Kansas Wesleyan’s Nathanial Leach hit a pair of free throws, KWU led 53-52 with 52 seconds to play. The Swedes turned it over on their next possession, but a Tyler Larkin steal and rim-run from mid-court gave Bethany a 54-53 lead with 21 seconds left.
Larkin finished the game with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 blocks. Bethany overcame a 5-14 free throw performance by limited Kansas Wesleyan to 36% shooting, and 3-17 from downtown.
The Swedes finish the regular season 12-12, and have grabbed the 8-seed in the KCAC Tournament. Bethany will play Thursday at Oklahoma Wesleyan with pregame coverage at 6:45pm on KVOB 95.5 The Rock.