Defense rules the day as Women’s Basketball stops York 70-34

Story by Kennedy Rater, KWU Sports Information Intern

The Coyotesended their regular season in fashion, winning big against York, 70-34.

The Coyotes honored a pair of seniors following the game,forwardCaila Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.) and manager Maggie Schneider.

The Coyotes dominated both ends of the floor against the Panthers and Sophomore guard, Megan Foote (SO/Louisburg, Kan.) led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Coach Showman on Caila Hill‘s impact to the team in her four years here, “She came in her freshmanyear, and we won a conference title. Her sophomore and junior years were Covid years and were tough because of the adversity she had to go through. To get back to third place in the conference in her senior year and to have a chance to make a run in March makes me happy for her. Our program is just in such a different place because of her being here the last four years and it is going to be very different next year when she leaves.”

There was more on the line tonight other than just it being senior night and the last regular season game of the year. The three seed for the KCAC tournament was up for grabs and the Coyotes locked it up with the win.

The score was back and forthto begin the game and all throughout the first quarter. Arcadya Conway for York had the hot hand in the first quarter, scoring 8 points with 6 of those coming off threes. Later, she would have to leave the game due to an ankle injury. She did return but was not as effective due to the injury.

For the Coyotes, the scoring attack was balanced but Freshman, Jill Stephens (SO/Colby, Kan.) was effective early withher active hands on defense, she added two blocks and a steal all in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with a Ricks jumper to put them up 12-10.

The first half was all Kansas Wesleyan as they went into the second half up 29-17. All the Coyotes’ offensive success came from the paint, they scored 20 of their 29 first half points in the paint. Megan Foote was the leading scorer after two quarters with seven points. York left 11 points at the free throw line by shooting 2-13, 15 percent. From the field it did not get much better for the Panthers as they shot 6-27, 22 percent.

To start the second half, it felt like there was a lid on the basket for the Coyotes as they missed three layups. However, the offense heated up shortly after a kickstart from LaMyah Ricks and Angel Roman (SO/Jacksonville, Fla.) as they both knocked down a 3-pointer in a two-minute span.

The Coyotes finished the third quarter with 45 points, as they scored 16 in the third while allowing only 10. They led 45-27 going into the fourth.

Kansas Wesleyan completely dominated the fourth quarter by scoring 25 to York’s 7. Five of those seven points from York came in the last 30 seconds since they decided to run a full court press with hopes of shedding a few points of the Wesleyan 40-point lead.

The fourth quarter was full of energy and points and the sole reason being Megan Foote. She knocked down three straight threes in the fourth quarter which put the lead up to 30. There was a well-balanced scoring attack even with Foote having 9 fourth quarter points.

Coach Showman on Foote’s incredible performance, “I’m just so happy for her. She does so much more than just score the ball; she rebounds, defends, she gets deflections, she sets people up and wins those hustle plays. But to see her get rewarded and to score a bunch of points, that’s cool for me because I know that’s not her focus and that’s not why she is in the starting lineup, but when you add the scoring ability that just makes it so much better.

Ten players from the Coyotes recorded at least one bucket and three Coyotes were in double figures for the game.

The beyond the arc shooting from the Coyotes took a complete 180 in the second half as they shot 7-14, 50 percent after shooting 0-7 from three in the first half.

For the game, Wesleyan forced 18 turnovers and 17 of their 70 points came from those turnovers.

On the other hand, York just could not put it together after a decent first quarter. The Panthers shot 23 percent from the field for the game and 3-19 from the free throw line. Leading the way for the Panthers was Megan Mares-Torres with 11 points on 2-10 shooting.

York drops to 9-17 on the season and 7-15 in conference.

For the Coyotes, they lock up the 3 seed for the KCAC tournament and push their record to 19-9 for the season and 17-5 in conference. KWU will host Ottawa on Thursday at 7 p,m., at Mabee Arena in the conference quarterfinals.