COLUMBIA, Mo. – Catherine Bowman scored a game-high 13 points for Kansas Wesleyan, leading four Coyotes in double figures, but KWU (0-2) saw a late rally come up short, Saturday, falling 76-73 at Columbia College in the Arena of the Southwell Complex.
Columbia (2-0) had four in double figures, led by Mallory Shetley, who matched Bowman’s game-high 13, while LaMyah Ricks added 12 for the Coyotes and Tylieea Wallace scored 10 off the bench. Caila Hill missed a double-double by a basket, adding eight points to 10 rebounds, and the Cougars sealed the game at the foul line, making 17-of-20 free throws, surviving a Coyote defense that forced Columbia in to 17 turnovers.
Kansas Wesleyan trailed by a point after the first quarter, but Columbia separated the game with a 22-15 second, taking a 40-32 lead to intermission. The Coyotes went running in the third quarter, though, using a four-minute stretch starting at the 6:20 mark in the third, closing what was a double-digit gap to two, 52-50, on a lay-in by Angel Roman with 2:15 left in the quarter.
Roman kept it a one-possession game with 1:31 to play in the third, using another lay-up to cut the Columbia lead to 55-53, but Allison Stiers closed the quarter with a three for Columbia. CC extended its lead to 10 in the first minute of the fourth quarter, as Lexi Miller tripled with 9:18 to go to extend the Cougar lead to 10. Kansas Wesleyan struggled on its end in the first five minutes of the final period, managing just three points and falling behind 71-56 with 5:15 to play.
The Coyotes would run from that point forward, and Kansas Wesleyan put pressure on Columbia in the final minute, as Ricks drained a three with 27 seconds to play to make it a two-point game. KWU outscored Columbia 17-6 from the 5:15 mark on, but the Cougars made three free throws down the stretch to hold off the come-from-behind effort from the Coyotes.
Columbia’s win avenged a six-point loss last year in Salina, while Kansas Wesleyan looks to regroup next week, playing its third opponent from the Show-Me State, when No. 9 Central Methodist visits Mabee Arena for the Coyote home opener, Saturday at 3 p.m.