Men’s Basketball picks up 73-59 win over Swedes

Kansas Wesleyan Head Coach Anthony Monson takes pride in his team’s defensive efforts.Tonight the Coyotes didn’t let him down, especially in the second half.KWU held the Bethany Swedes to 28.6 percent shooting (8 of 28) in the second half and just 27 second half points as the Coyotes came away with the 73-59 win on Saturday night at Mabee Arena.“I thought we did a really good job defensively tonight, but offensively we were hit and miss all night,” Monson said. “You know sometimes it’s going to happen, but tonight the defense came through for us the entire night and I am really happy about that.”Wesleyan held the Swedes scoreless for several long stretches in the game, including a 7-minute stretch in the first half, and two nearly five-minute stretches in the second half.Monson was also pleased with his team’s effort overall, heading into the heart of the KCAC schedule right before the semester break.“They never seem to be easy no matter what you do, and this one was the same way. You just have to grind them out to the end and we were just able to push that lead out late in the game and that was the difference.”Instead of relying on the outside shot the Coyotes looked inside and it paid dividends as the Coyotes had 38 points in the paint, compared to 20 for the Swedes, a number that pleased Monson.“We had 38 points in the paint tonight, and that was the big difference for us, we really were able to control the scoring down there,” he said. “And we did a better job in the second half of guarding people and held them to 27 points, after they build some momentum at the end of the first half.”The first half was back and forth until the Coyotes took the lead on a free throw by Caden Hale that broke a 26-all tie with 5:36 left in the half. The Coyotes built a 34-29 lead just before the half, but Bethany got a buzzer-beating three to end the half.Wesleyan never gave in, and only allowed Bethany to tie it twice, the last time at 36-all before Easton Hunter’s 3-pointer put the Coyotes up for good with 19 minutes left in the game.Bethany was within two at 45-43 with 15:26 left when the Coyotes made their move. Five straight points capped by Cory Kaplan’s 3-point play made it 50-43 with 11:10 to go and Kaplan’s bucket with 7:43 left made it 57-46.Wesleyan’s lead hit a game-high 16 with just under a minute left at 71-55.“I am really happy with the guys and their effort and I am just excited for what’s next,” Monson said.The Coyotes close out the first semester of games next week, heading to Ottawa on Wednesday, and hosting Saint Mary next Saturday.