WINFIELD – Brendon Ganaway (SR/Houston, Texas) was unstoppable the second half, scoring 31 points in Kansas Wesleyan’s game against Southwestern on Thursday.
He scored all 31 of his game-high points the final 20 minutes, but his valiant effort wasn’t enough as the Coyotes fell 95-87 in a Kansas Conference game at Stewart Fieldhouse.
The game was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was postponed one day because of the weather.
The loss drops KWU to 16-10 overall and 13-8 in the KCAC, tied for sixth with Bethel with three games left in the regular season. Southwestern won its fourth consecutive game and sixth in the last seven, improving to 20-7 overall and tied for third in the conference at 14-7.
Ganaway sat the final 15 minutes of the first half after picking up two quick fouls, but more than made up for his absence the second half.
The Moundbuilders closed the first half on a 15-6 run, led 43-38 at the break and opened the second half with a 27-10 burst that gave them a 70-48 lead with 11 minutes left.
That’s when Ganaway took over, scoring 17 points during a 21-6 Coyote run that closed the gap to 76-69 with 5:18 left. He scored 12 consecutive points at one point during the rally.
KWU got within seven twice again in the final minute, 92-85 and 94-87, but couldn’t get any closer.
Ganaway was 12 of 17 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point land. His career high was 32 points against Friends on January 23.
Peyton Hatter (SO/Andover, Kan.) had 17 and seven rebounds, Dylan Hahn (FR/Yukon, Okla.) 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting and made four 3-pointers, and A.J. Range 10 points and seven rebounds. KWU shot 48.5 percent (33 of 68) and was 12 of 26 from deep.
The Coyotes’ problem was stopping Southwestern, which shot 50.8 percent (30 of 59) and was 14 of 27 from long range. The Moundbuilders entered the game averaging a conference-best 10.8 made 3-points per game while shooting a conference-best 38.2 percent beyond the arc. They also rank second in scoring at 87.7 points per game.
Andrew Hamm, the KCAC’s leading scorer, had 22 points that included four 3-pointers for Southwestern. Geoff Salas scored 19 off the bench, Jarehn White had 15 points on five 3-pointers and Troy Baker 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Moundbuilders also made 21 of 26 free throw attempts and won the rebounding battle 37-29.
KWU used a 13-2 first-half run to take a 24-17 lead with 12:45 left before intermission, but Southwestern responded with eight consecutive points. Hahn made three of his 3-pointers the first half.
The Coyotes return home Saturday to play McPherson in a 7 p.m. crucial conference contest at Mabee Arena. The Bulldogs (19-8 overall) have been idle since defeating Bethel 78-74 last Saturday in McPherson and are 14-7 in KCAC, one game ahead of KWU. McPherson defeated KWU 80-65 on January 4 in McPherson.