The Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball team ended the regular season on a high note.
The Coyotes took out a little frustration from Friday night’s loss to Bethel in a 73-52 rout of the Avila Eagles on Saturday inside Mabee Arena.
Saturday also marked the sixth consecutive game that the Coyotes have held opponents to 55 or fewer points, and the fifth straight holding opponents to sub-35 percent shooting.
Wesleyan will be the No. 5 seed in the KCAC Tournament which starts on Tuesday with first round games at home sites of higher seeds. KWU faces No. 12 seed Southwestern in the first round at 7 p.m. inside Mabee Arena. The winner will face No. 4 seed McPherson on Thursday at the McPherson Sport Center for a chance to play in Saturday’s semifinal.
Payton Whaler (SR/Sublette, Kan.) hit a 3-point that put the Coyotes up 7-2 with 6:53 left in the first quarter. Avila bounced back to tie it at 9 with 4:51 left, but the Coyotes built a 17-12 lead after a quarter on Kelcey Hinz (JR/Whitewater, Kan.)’ bucket with 24 seconds left in the period.
Another bucket by Hinz with 7:29 to go in the half pushed the lead into double digits for the first time at 22-12. Avila got within five with 3:08 to go but the Coyotes score the next six on buckets by Lauren Brown (JR/Wylie, Texas) and Gabby Mureeba (SO/Allen, Texas) that made it 35-24 with a minute to go before the half. Mureeba’s bucket as time expired sent the Coyotes into the locker room up 37-28.
Avila got within six at 39-33 before the Coyotes took control. A 10-0 run by the Coyotes capped by Caila Hill (SO/Rossville, Kan.)’s three-point play made it 49-33 with 3:40 to go in the third. Another Caila Hill bucket capped the third and gave the Coyotes a 57-38 lead.
The Coyotes led 58-40 when Amanda Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.) scored to spark another 10-0 run for the Coyotes to make it 68-40 with 5:24 left on a bucket by Hinz. The Coyotes were up 26 when Whaler buried a 3 and Emily Rank (SR/Kansas City, Mo.) scored to give the Coyotes a 73-42 lead, their biggest of the game.
All 14 Coyotes that suited up got in the game. Mureeba led the way with 18 points while Hinz and Amanda Hill scored 12 each and Caila Hill had 10. KWU was 30 of 65 shooting for 46.2 percent and convincingly won the rebounding battle 44-32 led by HInz and Caila Hill with eight each.