After upsetting No. 8 Southwestern on Wednesday, Kansas Wesleyan was hoping to avoid a letdown.
The Coyotes didn’t disappoint.
Senior Terell Gandy was one of eight to score seven or more points, the defense forced 21 turnovers and the Coyotes cruised by Sterling 87-73 on Saturday.
The first half featured a back-and-forth clash. The scoreboard was tied nine times and the lead altered 10 different occasions with the final going in favor of the Coyotes. Following a 30-29 deficit with 4:18 to play in the half, Wesleyan outscored Sterling 10-3 to grab a 39-33 cushion at the break.
Sterling stayed within six for more of second half until Kansas Wesleyan went on a 9-0 spurt to put the Warriors away for good.
Gandy hit three treys to finish with 15 points. He added five assists and four rebounds. Junior Ernest Carter recorded 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Senior Jamon Fulton was the third Coyote in double figures with 11.
As for other scorers, Jordan McNelly had eight points, Raul Neri had seven, Rashun Allen had nine and Nate Leach and Zach Rammelt chipped in seven each. Wesleyan recorded a season-high 22 assists with nine turnovers.
KWU (7-4, 5-2 KCAC) travels to Wichita to take on Friends on Tuesday to wrap up KCAC play before the Christmas break. Doubleheader coverage starts at 5:45 on FM 104.9.
STERLING 71, KANSAS WESLEYAN 65
Despite going 0-for-17 from deep, the Sterling Warriors found a way to go to 6-1 in the KCAC.
Sterling jumped out to a six-point advantage in the second quarter, but the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes grabbed the lead at the end of the first half, up 33-32.
The Warriors scored the first two buckets of the third frame and the Coyotes’ answer was a 12-0 run, sparked by junior Maddie Miller, who had seven of her 10 points in the third period. After the eight-point cushion, the Coyotes went into the final frame with a 56-51 lead.
Wesleyan was looking for the knockout punch when the Coyotes were flirting with a double-digit lead, 65-56, but everything changed in a hurry.
Sterling outscored KWU 15-1 the rest of the way. The Warriors grabbed the upperhand when Jessica Princ missed the second of two free throws, leading to an offensive rebound and put back by Alexis Theus with under a minute to go. Wesleyan trailed 69-66 with 10 seconds left, but couldn’t get off a shot.
Freshman and KCAC’s leading scorer Kylah Comley poured in 30 points, pulled down nine rebounds and recorded six steals. Theus had 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.
For Wesleyan, sophomore Courtney Heinen made four threes for 12 points. Senior Mariah Knox added 11 from the bench and junior Maddie Miller almost had a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Wesleyan turned the ball over 21 times and gave up 13 offensive rebounds.
The Coyotes (7-6, 5-2) head south to take on the reigning KCAC champion Friends Falcons.