Coyotes cannot get past Saint Mary

LEAVENWORTH – Saint Mary used a 17-3 run over the final five minutes of the first half to get past the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes 72-57 on Wednesday night at the Ryan Sports Center.Wesleyan trailed the Spires by just two points at 25-23 with 5:20 to in the first half when things went against the Coyotes.KWU scored three points over the final five plus minutes of the first, coming on a 3-pointer by DJ Hudspeth with 3:19 left that got the Coyotes back within three at 29-26. From there the rest of the half was all Saint Mary, scoring the final 13 points of the half to take a 42-26 lead into the break.Wesleyan battled back in the second half, but just ran out of time to complete the rally.KWU trailed 57-38 with 11:36 left but fought back getting within a 57-43 difference with 9:28 left on a free throw by Alex Littlejohn. After a Saint Mary bucket, Easton Hunter hit a 3, but again Saint Mary had a response.Wesleyan’s was down 63-46 with 5:39 left but then embarked on a 7-0 run to get within 10 at 63-53 with 4:24 left in the game.That was as close as the Coyotes could get, the last time coming with 1:49 left on a Littlejohn score, but Saint Mary scored the final five points of the game for the win.The Coyotes battled back from a 19-9 deficit to open the game with seven straight points capped by Littlejohn’s bucket with 8:10 left in the first to make it 19-16.Wesleyan cut it to two at 22-20 and again at 25-23 before the Spires used the big run to end the half.Littlejohn led the way with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Jun Murdock added 13 as KWU was 22 of 50 shooting for 44 percent.The Coyotes are back in action on Saturday, hosting a key KCAC match-up with No. 9 ranked Southwestern at 7 p.m. inside Mabee Arena.