Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball head coach Ryan Showman moved over to his wife for a giant hug and a kiss. His players surrounded him with crafted signs.
The reality settled in for coach Showman.
Showman and the Coyotes outlasted McPherson head coach Gordon Reimer, Showman’s mentor, and the Bulldogs in a 90-88 overtime victory, handing the six-year head coach his 100th win of his coaching career.
McPherson pulled out all the stops to prevent the party from happening. After making its first bucket with 4:47 to play in the first, the Bulldogs kept it close with the Coyotes, ending the first frame with a 21-21 tie. The second quarter was just as narrow, but the Coyotes made 10-of-13 shot attempts in the frame to take a 46-39 advantage into halftime.
Following the most points in the first half by KWU, the Coyotes saw the role reversed, giving up the lead with 2:49 to play in the third, down 59-57. Wesleyan recovered by pounding the ball inside to freshman Virja Lewis, who had eight of her career-high 15 points in the third, putting KWU ahead 69-62 after three.
The Bulldogs turned to their three-ball. Despite only making three triples a game, McPherson made four of its 14 treys in the fourth quarter and even tied up the game at 81 apiece with 1.4 seconds left at the free throw line. Wesleyan used a timeout to advance the ball past halfcourt, but the three by senior Sydney Mortensen was short to close regulation.
The Maize South product made up for it, drilling a monster three to put KWU ahead 88-86 with 2:08 to play in regulation. She also forced a turnover late in the extra period and allowed sophomore guard Haleigh Bradford to connect on two free throws to make it 90-87 with 17 seconds left. McPherson was fouled with 0.3 seconds remaining, but the last-second miracle couldn’t be completed.
Wesleyan manged to work around McPherson’s 44 percent shooting from beyond the arc and 17 offensive rebounds. Sophomore Courtney Heinen made her first five shots of the game and finished with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
KWU (9-8, 6-3) stays at Mabee Arena to face Oklahoma Wesleyan on Saturday. The Lambert Insurance Pregame Show starts at 4:45 on FM 104.9.
Kansas Wesleyan 65, McPherson 55
The Coyote men followed up the overtime thriller with some dramatics of their own.
After a nip-and-tuck 15 minutes, McPherson grabbed the upperhand with 5:54 to play and continued to ride the 16-0 spurt to a 33-20 advantage. Wesleyan trimmed the margin down to nine at the half, following a bucket by freshman Darius Hammond.
The Bulldogs made two more triples after connecting on seven on nine tries in the first half. Kansas Wesleyan stared at a 17-point hole and didn’t flinch.
The Coyotes outscored the Bulldogs 37-10 the rest of the way, claiming the victory. Junior Ernest Carter had the go-ahead bucket with 5:54 remaining. Carter pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to go with his seven points.
Senior Jamon Fulton also set a career-high, but in points, putting up 22 on the scoreboard. Freshman Marquis Kraemer added seven as well.
Wesleyan (8-7, 6-3 KCAC) welcomes Oklahoma Wesleyan on Saturday at 7.