BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Kansas Wesleyan men saw their losing streak grow to six games Wednesday night but not before putting up a titanic fight.
Taylen Miller’s layup with six seconds capped OKWU’s 14-3 closing run and gave the Eagles an 83-82 Kansas Conference victory over KWU inside the Mueller Sports Center.
The loss dropped the Coyotes to 7-11 overall, 5-9 in the KCAC – the six losses by an agonizing total of 24 points, the last three setbacks by nine total points.
Gabe Mack (JR/Milwaukee, Wis.)’s 3-pointer, his third of the second half, gave KWU a 79-69 lead with 4:44 left but OKWU (12-5, 9-4 KCAC) scored the next five and trailed 79-74 with 3½ minutes left.
Two AJ Range free throws gave KWU an 81-74 lead at the 2:44 mark and the Coyotes had an 82-76 advantage after a Brayden White (SR/Topeka, Kan.) free throw with 2:21 left. But Brooks Haddock’s 3-pointer and two Dylan Phillip free throws brought OKWU within 82-81 with 1:31 remaining.
KWU misfired on its next two possessions sandwiched around an OKWU miss. The Eagles called time out with 13.3 seconds left and Miller followed with his game winning basket. Micah Lovett (FR/Tulsa, Okla.)’s last-second shot missed for KWU.
The Coyotes controlled most of the first half and led 43-27 following two Jeffries’ free throws with 5:04 left before intermission. But OKWU went on a 13-2 run the rest of the way and trailed 45-40 at the break. The Eagles scored the eight of the first 10 points of the second half and took their first lead of the game, 48-47, with 18½ minutes left.
The teams finished with identical shooting totals – 31 of 68 (45.6 percent). KWU shot 58 percent the first half (18 of 31) but cooled off to 35 percent (15 of 35) the second half.
The Coyotes had one of their better nights from beyond the 3-point arc, going 10 of 23. OKWU was 8 of 29 overall but 6 of 14 the second half.
Tyus Jeffries (JR/Oklahoma City, Okla.) led KWU with 20 points while Hunter had 16 – 11 in the first 20 minutes. Range scored 12 and had nine rebounds and Trey Duffey (SO/Topeka, Kan.) added 11 points but the Coyotes committed 17 turnovers that led to 18 OKWU points.
Kazden Ammons led the Eagles with 19 points while Phillip and Kaleb Stokes each scored 13. Stokes had 28 in the game in Salina.
KWU is back home for a game against Bethel at 5 p.m. Saturday inside Mabee Arena. The No. 22-ranked Threshers lead the conference with a 13-3 record and defeated York 105-83 Wednesday in York, Neb.
The Coyotes were scheduled to play Saint Mary Saturday in Mabee Arena, but the game was cancelled because of COVID 19-related concerns.