OKLAHOMA CITY – Kelcey Hinz (SO/Whitewater, Kan.)’s potential game-tying 3-pointer just rimmed off as time expired for the Kansas Wesleyan Women’s Basketball team as the Coyotes nearly completed an amazing comeback. The Coyotes fell to the Mid-America Christian Evangels 64-61 in a decade-ending contest on Tuesday afternoon at the Gaulke Activity Center.
The comeback was impressive to say the least, as the Coyotes trailed by 14 to start the fourth quarter and were down eight with 39 seconds left. But here came the resilient Coyotes, getting a 3-pointer from Kayla Vallin (SR/Aurora, Colo.) with 26 seconds left cutting the deficit to five.
Haleigh Bradford (SR/Schertz, Texas) hit free throws with 17 seconds left cutting the deficit to the final score, but the excitement wasn’t over just yet.
Both teams turned the ball over on subsequent possessions, sending MACU to the line with a chance to ice the game but Jessica Fairley missed both free throws and Bradford pulled down the board and called timeout. With the ball in the front court, the Coyotes inbounded but had the ball knocked into the backcourt, only to be recovered by the Coyotes. Bradford found Hinz open in the corner, but her shot rimmed out as time expired.
Amanda Hill (JR/Rossville, Kan.)’s bucket with 5:46 left in the fourth got the Coyotes back within eight after trailing by 14 with 9:12 to go. MACU built an 11-point lead with 3:21 left then the Coyotes got the rally going. Buckets by Hill and Hinz cut the difference to seven ahead of Bradford’s charities with 1:57 left that got KWU within five the first time.
MACU took a 9-2 lead to start the game but the Coyotes rallied on four straight points by Hinz to get back within three with five minutes left in the first quarter. MACU took a 9-point lead just before the end of the quarter, but a 3-pointer by Courtney Brockhoff (JR/Hiawatha, Kan.) made it a six-point difference after a quarter.
KWU trailed 18-9 to open the second, but battled back taking a 20-19 lead on Brockhoff’s triple with 5:39 left in the half. MACU would answer back taking a 36-26 lead at the break.
Kayla Vallin’s triple with 5:46 left in the third capped another KWU rally that got the Coyotes within three at 40-37, but Wesleyan would not score again the rest of the quarter as the Evangels built a 51-37 lead after three quarters.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball, playing their first games after extensive layoffs, as KWU was 21-of-61 from the field for 34.4 percent for the game, but shot 38.7 percent in the second half. MACU shot 35.2 percent from the field, but were just 12-of-42 in the second half (28.6 percent) and were 0-of-9 from 3-point range (18.2 percent for the game), and were 10-of-21 at the free throw line (4-of-10 in the second half).
Hinz led the Coyotes with 13 points and nine rebounds and had four blocks. Amanda Hill and Courtney Heinen (SR/Axtell, Kan.) had 12 each for the Coyotes. Vallin had nine points for the Coyotes as well.
The Coyotes return to action on Saturday, starting a new decade of basketball on the road at McPherson. KWU is at home for the first time in the new decade on January 8 against Ottawa.