McPHERSON – Kansas Wesleyan Men’s Basketball battled back from a 13-point first half deficit, getting within a point several times, but the Coyotes’ late surge wasn’t enough as the McPherson Bulldogs held off the Coyotes 97-93 on Saturday at the Sport Center.
Wesleyan trailed by 13, 46-33, with 4:31 left in the first half, but bounced back, using a 13-4 run to get within four at 50-46 with 1:58 left in the half on a bucket by Easton Hunter (FR/Colwich, Kan.). McPherson pushed its lead back out to eight before Ethan Speer (JR/Salina, Kan.) hit a bucket just before the half to make it a 54-48 difference at the break.
Trey Gilbert (JR/Holcomb, Kan.)’s bucket 90 seconds into the second half got the Coyotes within four, but again McPherson pushed its lead back out to eight with 17 minutes left.
A 10-3 run by the Coyotes capped by a score by AJ Range (SR/Junction City, Kan.) cut the different to a point at 61-60 with 13:51 left in the game.
The teams traded scores over the next four minutes before McPherson pushed its lead back out to six at 768 with 8:52 to go.
The Coyotes trailed by five at 87-82 with 3:34 left, but scored the next four capped by a bucket by Nate Leach (SR/Houston, Texas) that again got Wesleyan within a point at 87-86. The Bulldogs scored the next seven to push the lead back out to eight at 94-86 with 45 seconds left.
Tyus Jeffries (JR/Oklahoma City, Okla.)’ score with 6.2 seconds left got KWU within three at 96-93, but McPherson hit a free throw to seal the win.
Wesleyan trailed by a point at 8-7 out of the gates, but McPherson used an 8-2 run to push the lead out to seven at 16-9 with 14:36 left in the first half. McPherson pushed the lead out to 10 at 24-14 with 12:05 to go.
Free throws by Jackson Maupin (FR/Argyle, Texas) hit a pair of free throws to get the Coyotes within four at 26-22 with 9:51 to go. McPherson pushed the lead out to 13, a game high, with 4:31 left.
Hunter and Range each scored 18 to lead the Coyotes while Leach had 13 and Jeffries 10 as KWU shot 47.9 percent from the field (35 of 73). Range added 10 rebounds for his KCAC-leading ninth double-double of the season.
The Coyotes will be back in action Monday, hosting Tabor inside Mabee Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. KWU then heads to Bartlesville, Okla. on Wednesday to take on Oklahoma Wesleyan.