The Kansas Wesleyan men’s basketball team prides itself on protecting its home floor.
So does No. 20 Oklahoma Wesleyan.
The Eagles used a 14-0 run in the second half to fly by the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes, 81-53 giving OKWU sole possession of the No. 2 seed in the KCAC postseason tournament. The victory also hiked OKWU’s conference home record to 10-1 in the regular season, the same record for the Coyotes at Mabee Arena.
Kansas Wesleyan (16-12, 14-8) jumped out to a 14-9 advantage, forcing a plethora of turnovers. Junior Ernest Carter pushed the advantage to 24-17 with 7:34 to play in the half with a three from the right corner.
Oklahoma Wesleyan (22-8, 15-7) locked down defensively, holding KWU to three points the rest of the half. Meanwhile, OKWU junior KJ Malveau connected on four triples, his last of the half to knot up the score at 27-all. Junior Isaak Rowe connected on another to close out the half, giving OKWU at 30-27 lead.
The Eagles wouldn’t let the lead slip from there. OKWU hiked its cushion to nine, 41-32 three minutes into the second half. KWU trimmed the deficit to five, but the Eagles sealed the victory with a 14-0 spurt.
Five Eagles reached double figures, led by Malveau’s 20 points. Breiman Alexander added 14 off the bench and Josh Wilchombe had a monster double-double of 13 points and 17 rebounds.
Kansas Wesleyan was paced by junior Rashun Allen and Salina Ortho Player of the Game Marquis Kraemer, who both scored eight points each.
Wesleyan’s first round game takes place at Mabee Arena on Thursday. Kansas Wesleyan won the coin flip to earn the No. 3 seed. The Coyotes host the six-seeded Friends at 7 pm with pregame at 6:45 on FM 104.9.
OKLAHOMA WESLEYAN 66, KANSAS WESLEYAN 47
The shooting struggles returned for Kansas Wesleyan.
KWU (15-15, 12-10) made just one shot in the opening quarter while Oklahoma Wesleyan senior Tiffany Rieger scored nine of the 13 points for OKWU, which led 13-2 after one.
Wesleyan junior Sydney Mortensen had the second field goal when she connected on a triple with 8:32 remaining in the first half. The Coyotes used that spark to cut the deficit to three twice. Following the push to trail 26-23, the Eagles finished out the half with a 31-25 advantage.
Oklahoma Wesleyan (20-10, 14-8) sprinted past Kansas Wesleyan with offensive rebounding, leading to an 11-0 spurt to start the third quarter. The Coyotes failed to record a bucket and fell behind 51-33 through three quarters.
KWU was limited to 17 percent from the field in the second half, settling for 26 percent for the game. Salina Ortho Player of the Game Gabbie Miller paced the Coyotes with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Mortensen chipped in 10 for the Coyotes, who hit the road on Wednesday to start the KCAC postseason tournament. KWU picked up the No. 6 seed and travels right back to Bartlesville, Okla. to battle Oklahoma Wesleyan. Tipoff at 7 pm with pregame at 6:45 on FM 104.9.