OTTAWA – A 7-0 run by the Ottawa Braves halfway through the second half would send the Braves to a 67-60 win over the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes on Saturday night inside Wilson Field House.
The Coyotes led 35-30 to start the second half, but an 11-0 Ottawa run gave the Braves a 41-37 lead with 14:22 to go in the game.
Wesleyan battled back, tying things up at 46-all with 10:17 to go on a 3 by Alex Littlejohn (FR/Newton, Kan.), and free throws by Jun Murdock (SO/Wichita, Kan.) gave the Coyotes a 48-46 lead with 9:03 left.
Back came the Braves, using a decisive 7-0 push to take a 53-48 lead with 5:28 left.
Forced to foul late, the Coyotes sent Ottawa to the line several times as the Braves extended their lead to 63-53.
For a second straight game, the Coyotes started out the game red-hot, taking a 14-4 lead on a bucket by Tyus Jeffries (SR/Oklahoma City, Okla.) with 13:01 left in the first.
Ottawa would respond with a 12-0 run to take a 16-14 lead before Trey Duffey (SO/Topeka, Kan.) scored to tie things up at 16-all with 7:15 to go in the first.
Wesleyan would regain the lead, pushing the advantage out to as many as seven points just before the halftime buzzer on a pair of free throws by Izaiah Hale (FR/Wichita, Kan.) to make it 34-27.
Offense was at a premium for both teams who are known for their high-powered offenses. The Coyotes held Ottawa to just 43 percent shooting for the game, which included a 39.3 percent effort in the first game.
Wesleyan shot just 31 percent in the second half, and 37.7 percent for the game, led by Murdock’s 17, while Easton Hunter (FR/Colwich, Kan.) had 13.
The Coyotes must quickly regroup before welcoming a talented Southwestern team to Mabee Arena on Monday night at 8 p.m. as part of a three game week for the Coyotes. KWU heads to Sterling on Thursday, then hosts Tabor on Saturday.