WICHITA – Haleigh Bradford (SR/Schertz, Texas) scored 20 points and Kelcey Hinz (SO/Whitewater, Kan.) pulled down 16 rebounds as the Kansas Wesleyan Women’s Basketball team beat the Friends Falcons 78-71 on Saturday at the Garvey Center. It was the first conference win of the season for the Coyotes.
The Coyotes overcame 24 turnovers in the game, outscoring Friends 26-20 on points off turnovers, forcing 18 miscues by the Falcons.
The victory improves KWU’s record to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in the KCAC, while Friends fell to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
Trailing 13-9 in the first quarter, the Coyotes rallied scoring 12 straight points to take a 21-13 lead just before the end of the period, the run capped by a pair of free throws by Gabby Mureeba (FR/Allen, Texas). KWU would lead 21-15 after a quarter.
A bucket by Hinz with 6:48 left in the second quarter gave Wesleyan a 31-19 lead, but Friends would go on a run, outscoring KWU 20-4 over the next six minutes to take a 39-35 lead with 44 seconds left before the half.
Lauren Flowers (SO/Overland Park, Kan.) would knock down a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left in the half and Amanda Hill (JR/Rossville, Kan.) would hit a 3 with 28 ticks before the half to send the Coyotes into the locker room with a 40-39 lead.
The Coyotes pushed the lead back out to 46-40 with 6:35 left in the third on free throws by Bradford, but again Friends rallied with six straight to tie things at 46 with 4:35 to go in the quarter.
Friends would take a brief 49-48 lead with a minute to go before Bradford buried a triple just before the end of the quarter to give KWU a 51-49 lead at the break.
Bradford’s triple with 7:29 left in the game gave KWU a 58-51 lead and free throws by Hinz with 5:14 left gave the Coyotes a 63-55 lead. Friends again cut into the Coyote lead, getting within three with 1:29 left at 71-68, but the Coyotes would knock down 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to grab the 78-71 win.
Bradford’s 20 paced the Coyotes who shot 23-of-54 from the field for 42.6 percent in the game. Amanda Hill added 19 points and Courtney Heinen (SR/Axtell, Kan.) had 10 for the Coyotes. Hill had seven rebounds and Flowers had six to help KWU to a 46-39 advantage on the boards.
The Coyotes return to action on Tuesday with another early season test as KWU hosts the Bethany Swedes at 6 p.m. at Mabee Arena.