The 13th-ranked Coyotes are back home Wednesday against Saint Mary after a two-game road trip but head out again Saturday to play Sterling.
Wednesday: Saint Mary at Kansas Wesleyan, 8 p.m., Mabee Arena
Saturday: Kansas Wesleyan at Sterling, 7 p.m., Gleason Center, Sterling
The games will be available online through the Coyote Sports Network at www.kcacnetwork.com/
Kansas Wesleyan 21-3 overall, 15-3 KCAC
Saint Mary 7-17, 3-15
Sterling 13-11, 9-9 (at Friends on Wednesday)
KWU has won seven of eight against USM. They split last season, the Coyotes winning 75-71 in Mabee Arena in December and Saint Mary prevailing 72-69 in February. Wesleyan won 86-62 in Leavenworth on December 10 earlier this season. The series is tied 17-17 since December, 2005.
The Coyotes have won three in a row and 12 of 13 against Sterling including an 81-54 victory December 13 in the first game this season. KWU won 102-44 in Salina and 99-64 in Sterling last season. Wesleyan leads the series 21-14 since December, 2005.
KANSAS WESLEYAN AT A GLANCE
Point guard Jun Murdock was named the KCAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Murdock limited Oklahoma Wesleyan standout Derrick Talton Jr. to 2 of 10 shooting, four points and four turnovers, then held Ottawa’s Deondre Buggage to 3 of 10 shooting and six points. It’s the second time Murdock has received the defensive award from the conference.
The Coyotes split two games last week, losing to No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan 60-55 Wednesday in Bartlesville, Okla. but rebounded with an 87-76 victory Saturday at Ottawa. KWU shot 31 percent in the loss to OKWU but warmed up to 45 percent against Ottawa and easily won the rebounding battle 46-28.
Cory Kaplan didn’t score in the loss to OKWU but redeemed himself in a huge way with a career-high 27 points against Ottawa. He was 10 of 12 from the field including 5 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Murdock added 16 points, eight assists and three rebounds.
KWU outscored Saint Mary 37-20 in the second half in the first game this season. Easton Hunter scored 20 and was 6 of 9 from 3-point range while Alex Littlejohn had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Littlejohn had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the first contest against Sterling. Izaiah Hale added 12 points and the Coyotes limited Sterling to 33 percent shooting.
SAINT MARY AT A GLANCE
The Spires have just won two of their last 10 games but are 2-2 in the last four. They’re coming off a 60-58 victory over Friends on Saturday in Leavenworth and defeated McPherson 80-67 January 26 in Leavenworth.
Saint Mary averages 70 points but allows 77. Opponents are shooting 47 percent including 35 percent from long range. The Spires also have a minus-3.3 rebounding margin.
Junior forward Deshaud St. Martin is the top scorer (15.5) and rebounder (7.3) followed by sophomore forward Joey Schultz (10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds).
STERLING AT A GLANCE
The Warriors are the surprise team of the KCAC this season under first-year coach Randy Stange but have been in a slump of late with three consecutive losses and four in their last five. The victory, though, was over Southwestern 82-80 January 26 in Sterling. The Warriors lost at home to Bethel 76-75 on Saturday.
Sterling averages 75 points and allows 76. The Warriors are good at the foul line – they rank 11th in free throws made per game (16.2), 22nd in free throw attempts (22.0) and 47th in free throw percentage (73.7). They’re also 47th in total rebounds per game (38.4).
Junior guard Cedric Rollerson is the leading scorer (15.2) followed by senior forward Kavonte Kinney (13.3), junior guard Derrian Reed (12.5) and senior forward Lucas Briar (11.2). Kinney, who joined the team second semester, is the leading rebounder (5.7).