Kaufman leads Coyotes past York 75-64

YORK, Nebraska – Kourtney Kaufman took full advantage of a rare opportunity and the Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball team was the big-time beneficiary.Kaufman’s four 3-pointers during a 4½-minute span in the second quarter gave the Coyotes some much-needed breathing room and propelled them to a 75-64 Kansas Conference victory over York Wednesday night inside the Freeman Center.KWU improved to 7-8, 5-4 in the conference while York fell to 3-10 and 2-7.Before Wednesday Kaufman, a junior guard, had scored nine points in eight games (1.1 average) on 3 of 9 shooting from the perimeter. Clinging to a 24-20 lead she made her first 3-pointer with 9:18 left in the quarter then buried back-to-back threes 21 seconds apart two minutes later. The fourth 3-pointer came with 4:45 left in the half and helped the Coyotes take a 42-24 lead into intermission.“I wasn’t surprised, we know what kind of player she is,” KWU coach Ryan Showman said. “What I was most pleased with was the fact she was ready to go. She hasn’t had a big role up to this point but she came in and hit some big shots when we needed it. We had some foul trouble and she delivered.”Kaufman didn’t take another shot and played nine minutes but her contributions were pivotal.Wesleyan hung on in the second half as York tried to rally. The Coyotes led 56-43 after three quarters and the Panthers only got as close as nine three times in the fourth quarter.Odessa Ozuna scored a team-best 13 points off the bench while Kaufman and Jill Stephens each scored 12 – Stephens making three 3-pointers. Daijane Adams added 11 points. KWU was 10 of 27 from beyond the arc for the game.“The balance makes us hard to prepare for,” Showman said. “Hats off to the ladies for coming into the game and being productive and giving us a chance to win making plays. That was nice to see.”KWU shot 47.6 percent (30 of 63) after shooting 60 percent (19 of 34) the first half and won the rebounding battle 41-35. York shot 35.5 percent (22 of 62) for the game.The Panthers were 18 of 22 from the free throw line while Wesleyan was just 2 of 6.The Coyotes struggled with turnovers, finishing with 20 that led to 20 York points. The Panthers committed 17 turnovers that resulted in 10 KWU points.“I thought it was kind of us getting away from where we had success,” Showman said. “We didn’t meet passes and sometimes we got careless with (the ball). They were able to be physical and if we weren’t going to handle that we were going to turn it over and that’s where a lot of them came from. There were probably six or eight that were forced turnovers, the others had a lot to do with us.”Arcadya Conway led York with 22 points while Imani Honey had 17.Showman was pleased with the road victory after losing at home to Tabor on Saturday.“It’s always been a tough place for us to play,” he said. “It wasn’t a perfect night by any means but it was good enough tonight and we’ll certainly going to take it and build off it.“It was important for us to get back in the winning column, it was important for us to find a way to close one out. I’m really pleased with this team right now and what our response was during two days of practice.”The Coyotes play Avila at 1 p.m. Saturday inside Mabee Arena in their next game. Avila (5-10, 4-5 KCAC) lost to Friends 78-65 Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri.