Men’s Basketball closes pre-holiday slate with 72-60 win over Park Gilbert

No. 21 ranked Kansas Wesleyan got 20 points and 16 rebounds from Alex Littlejohn (SO/Newton, Kan.) to help lead the Coyotes to a 72-60 win over Park University Gilbert Buccaneers on Monday at Bell Bank Park.


The victory sends the Coyotes into the holiday break with a 12-1 overall record, and a 5-game winning streak.


The Coyotes trailed early out of the gates 6-4 to the Buccaneers, prompting a timeout. Wesleyan responded out of the break, getting a 3-point play by Thurbil Bile (JR/Centennial, Colo.) with 18 minutes to go in the half to spark an 11-0 run giving KWU a 14-6 lead with 13:30 to go in the half.


A bucket by Littlejohn gave the Coyotes a 21-11 lead with 12:25 to go in the half, and the Coyotes extended the lead to 25-14 with 9:34 to go in the half on a bucket by Malik Marshall (SO/Rockford, Ill.).


Cory Kaplan (JR/Merritt Island, Fla.)’s thunderous dunk with 6:53 left in the half knocked one of the shot clocks mounted on the goal out of commission and prompted a several minute long delay as the officials decided to play without shot clocks on both ends for the remainder of the game since it could not be repaired during the game.


Jun Murdock (JR/Wichita, Kan.)’s bucket with 5:08 left in the half put the Coyotes up 13, and Littlejohn’s put back dunk with 4:03 left made it 35-21. Wesleyan took a 40-29 lead into the half.


A 3-pointer by Easton Hunter (JR/Colwich, Kan.) with 18 minutes left in the game put the Coyotes up by 19 points at 48-29, and another bucket by Littlejohn made it 50-29 with 16:43 to go.


Wesleyan led 55-33 with 12 minutes left when the Buccaneers made a little run, getting within 11 at 57-46 thanks to a 13-2 run with 8:14 left.


The Coyotes pushed the lead back out to 16 on Hunter’s triple with 6:26 left.


Wesleyan led 68-53 with two minutes left when Coach Anthony Monson emptied the bench to finish things out.


The Coyotes had another night of balanced scoring as Kaplan was the only other player in double figures with 11. Hunter had nine, Murdock and Bile eight each. The Coyotes were 27 of 67 from the field for 40.3 percent, but connected on just 4 of 19 3-pointers for 21.1 percent. Bile and Trey Duffey (JR/Topeka, Kan.) added seven rebounds each for the Coyotes, who outrebounded Park 52-36.


KWU is off until New Year’s Eve when the Coyotes welcome Columbia College to Mabee Arena for a 1 p.m. tipoff.