Two surging Kansas Conference teams collide when Kansas Wesleyan plays Sterling in their final conference game of 2022. The Coyotes play SAGU-American Indian College on Saturday and Park-Gilbert on Monday in Phoenix before departing for the Christmas break. They return for a non-conference game against Columbia (Mo.) December 31 inside Mabee Arena.
Tuesday: Sterling at No. 18 Kansas Wesleyan, 8 p.m., Mabee Arena
The game will be available online through the Coyote Sports Network at www.kcacnetwork.com/
Kansas Wesleyan 9-1, 6-1 KCAC
Sterling 7-5, 4-3 KCAC
The Coyotes have won 12 of the last 13 against the Warriors including two victories last season. They won 102-44 December 2 in Mabee Arena and 99-64 January 27 in Sterling. The Warriors last victory was 75-68 January, 2021 in Mabee Arena. KWU leads the series 20-14 since December, 2005.
KANSAS WESLEYAN AT A GLANCE
A huge second half propelled the Coyotes to an 86-62 victory over Saint Mary on Saturday in Leavenworth. KWU held the Spires to 20 points and 23 percent shooting the final 20 minutes after leading 49-42 at intermission. Easton Hunter (JR/Colwich, Kan.) scored 20 points that included six 3-pointers, Alex Littlejohn (SO/Newton, Kan.) had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Jun Murdock (JR/Wichita, Kan.) and Cory Kaplan (JR/Merritt Island, Fla.) 11 points apiece.
KWU’s outrebounding its opponents by 8.8 per game and allowing just 60.3 points per game while scoring 77.7. Opponents are shooting 35.4 percent overall.
Littlejohn averages 11.6 points, a team-best 8.2 rebounds and has seven double-doubles on the season. He was named the KCAC’s Offensive Player of Week on Monday after averaging 16 points and 11.5 rebounds in KWU’s victories over Ottawa and Saint Mary last week. Murdock leads the Coyotes in scoring at 12.7 points and 2.7 assists.
STERLING AT A GLANCE
The Warriors are much improved under first-year coach Randy Stange, who coached Hutchinson Community College for three seasons before going into administration. He was director of athletics at Johnson County CC for five years before going to Sterling.
Sterling has won two in a row and three of four including a 73-69 victory over Friends on Saturday in Sterling. The Warriors defeated Bethel 75-67 last Wednesday in North Newton and also have conference wins over York and McPherson.
Five Warriors have double-figure scoring averages led by guards Cedric Rollerson (16.0) and Derrian Reed (14.3). Elias Ngoga, a 6-foot-10 forward, averages 12.1 points and a team-best 7.5 rebounds.