BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Kansas Wesleyan Women’s Basketball team shot 60 percent in the second half, which was impressive. Even more impressive was the Coyotes’ afternoon at the free throw line.
KWU went a perfect 30-of-30 at the free throw line, and outscored the Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles 50-34 in the second half on the way to an 85-62 win on Saturday at the Mueller Sports Center.
The win was the 10th in a row for the Coyotes in KCAC play, and gave Head Coach Ryan Showman career win number 141, making him the all-time wins leader in KWU women’s history, passing Gordon Reimer for the mark.
KWU led by seven at the half 35-28 and the Eagles closed to within four with just over nine minutes left in the third. KWU rebuilt an eight point lead before again the Eagles got within four with 5:26 left at 47-43.
“This is a tough place to play and we knew we had to come out and get off to a really great start and we did that,” Showman said. “We had to make plays and we did. We know what OKWU can do and every time they pressed on us, we had an answer.”
That’s when things turned in favor of the Coyotes quickly. KWU got free throws by Courtney Heinen (SR/Axtell, Kan.) and buckets by Lauren Flowers (SO/Overland Park, Kan.) and Jayme Sloan (SR/Bennington, Kan.) to take a 10-point lead at 53-43 with 4:04 left. OKWU used a pair of free throws of its own to get within eight, but then it was all Coyotes.
A three-point play by Heinen got things going as KWU ended any suspense in the game with an 11-0 run that put the Coyotes up 64-45 with 1:36 left in the third.
“Courtney Heinen did Courtney Heinen things tonight,” Showman said. “She played like we need our seniors to play on the road. She always had an answer when we needed one.”
Leading by 15 after three quarters, KWU opened the fourth on a 9-0 run capped by Amanda Hill (JR/Rossville, Kan.)’s free throws to take a 73-49 lead with just under eight minutes left.
Heinen’s free throws pushed the lead out to 28 points with 5:40 left as the Coyotes cruised to their 14th win of the season.
The game started out back and forth and was tied 4-4 before a 10-0 Coyote blitz capped by Kayla Vallin (SR/Aurora, Colo.)’s 3 with 6:21 left in the first that made it 14-4.
OKWU cut the difference to six before the Coyotes pushed it back out to 10 on free throws by Flowers. KWU would take a 20-12 lead after a quarter.
Oklahoma Wesleyan cut the difference to three at 24-21 with 6:36 left in the first half, when the Coyotes would get buckets from Haleigh Bradford (SR/Schertz, Texas) and Heinen to build a 7-point lead at 28-21 with 5:56 left.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way as KWU took a 35-28 lead into the half.
KWU’s superb second half shooting effort helped KWU shoot 53.1 percent for the game (26-of-49) from the field. Kelcey Hinz (SO/Whitewater, Kan.) added 19 points and a game high 14 rebounds. Haleigh Bradford had 13 and Amanda Hill had 11.
The Coyotes get a week to prepare for No. 16 ranked Sterling, heading to Sterling to take on the Warriors at 5 p.m. next Saturday at the Gleason Center.