Outstanding efforts by the Kansas Wesleyan Women’s Basketball team in the second and fourth quarters allowed the Coyotes to pull away and defeat the Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles 90-75 on Tuesday night inside Mabee Arena.
It was also a special night for senior Amanda Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.). Hill scored her 1000th career point, on free throws with 5:18 to go in the first, before finishing the night with a game-high 25.
“There’s only one word that I can use for Amanda, and that’s ‘special’,” KWU head coach Ryan Showman said. “She made big shot after big shot tonight, but she’s been doing that her entire career, and for her to get her 1000th point, it’s just special and I am so proud of her.
“I’m not just proud of her on the court, I am proud of her off the court as well. The academic life she balances off the court is just absolutely phenomenal for her to come in here and lead our team and perform the way she does.”
After the game, Hill said she had no idea she was closing in on the milestone, after scoring 27 points Friday night against McPherson, leaving her just three short heading into tonight’s game. Her first bucket came with 7:23 left in the first, a shot in the lane, giving her 999 points. With 5:18 left she was fouled and went to the line, hitting both charities to reach the milestone.
“It feels really good, it’s exciting,” Hill said. “I had no idea, the entire team kept it from me as their little secret, and then they were super excited when I hit it, and that’s how I found out.”
There was no shortage of offense for the Coyotes in Tuesday’s game as KWU reached 90 points for the first time this season and the first time since February 8 against Saint Mary, which now seems like eons ago.
“Scoring 46 points in the paint certainly helps that,” Showman said. “The high percentage looks, the executing, passing up good shots for great shots.
“We’re scoring in the paint, we are getting the ball to Kelcey (Hinz) and Amanda, but when teams double down on them, they find their open teammate.”
Hill led the way with 25 for the Coyotes, and Hinz had 17 along with 12 rebounds, but it was several others that were big for KWU tonight, including freshman LaMyah Ricks (FR/Shawnee Mission, Kan.), who made her first career start, scoring 11 points, while Amanda’s sister Caila added 10 off the bench.
It was a slow start for both teams but the Coyotes pressed out to a 7-2 lead on Amanda Hill’s milestone free throws that made it 7-2 in favor of the Coyotes.
The Eagles would use an 11-3 run over the next four minutes to take a 13-10 lead, and would lead 15-14 after a quarter.
Emily Rank (SR/Kansas City, Mo.) hit a pair of free throws to open the second quarter for the Coyotes giving KWU the lead back at 16-15, and a big 3 by Mia Needles (JR/Highland Ranch, Colo.) put KWU up 19-15. OKWU got within two at 29-27 before the Coyotes closed the half on a 9-2 run to make it 38-29 at intermission.
The Eagles got within 3 at 38-35 in the third, but Lauren Brown (JR/Wylie, Texas)’s 3-pointer with 3:53 left in the quarter gave the Coyotes a 55-45 lead. OKWU was able to get back within six at the end of the third, 60-54.
A 12-2 run to start the fourth for KWU made it 72-56 on a Needles triple.
OKWU got it back to single digits at 84-75 before KWU scored the last six, all at the free throw line for the 15-point win.
The Coyotes blistered the net in the second half, shooting 58 percent from the field, and finished the game 33-of-62 for 53.2 percent. The Coyotes also hit 7-of-12 second half 3-pointers for 58.3 percent. Hinz had 12 rebounds and four blocks for the Coyotes, while Amanda Hill added eight rebounds and Caila Hill (SO/Rossville, Kan.) had six.
KWU was supposed to play Saint Mary on Friday in Leavenworth, but the Spires have suspended athletics for the rest of the fall semester due to COVID-19 concerns. KWU will play rival Bethany on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Mabee Arena.