Ricks leads Coyotes to rout of Stars 68-47

“February LaMyah” was pretty darn good on a Wednesday night in November.LaMyah Ricks, Kansas Wesleyan’s dynamic point guard, was in late-season form in leading the Coyotes to a convincing 68-47 non-conference victory over Oklahoma City inside Mabee Arena.She scored 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting and grabbed three rebounds in 22 minutes as KWU ended a three-game losing streak and improved to 2-3 on the young season.“That was February LaMyah and it was fun to watch,” KWU coach Ryan Showman said.Leading 36-18 at halftime OCU (1-1) scored the first four points of the second half but Ricks answered with a 3-point basket then scored again to push the lead to 19 (41-22) with 7½ minutes left in the third quarter.“Those are the plays she makes and then everybody else kind of follows suit,” Showman said.Ricks is in her fourth season as a starter and has embraced her role as leader of the Coyote pack.“I’ve kind of taken this opportunity and run with it,” she said, “because we’ve had such great leaders in the past and I know how well that impacts our team. I just want to following their footsteps and lead our team to victory.”Angel Lee scored 10 as did freshman post player Brooke Strine to go along with a team-best seven rebounds – both career highs. KWU shot 51.8 percent for the game (29 of 56) and 12 Coyotes scored.“We played together, we played as a unit and not one versus five,” Ricks said. “We were looking for each other and just communicated at a really high level.”Ricks was happy to see the losing streak end.“It felt awesome,” she said. “We have been working so hard together, we came up just short on Friday (against Morningside) and Saturday we didn’t play our best (against Langston). We were hungry for a victory and we knew we could get it tonight.”Ricks and Showman said KWU’s defensive effort played a key role in the victory. OCU shot 35 percent (20 of 57) and committed 17 turnovers. Ray Osborn led the Stars with 17 points.“Coach gave us a great scout on what to expect from this team,” Ricks said. “They wanted to get downhill and we adjusted to that and we just finished plays.”“We set the tone defensively,” Showman said. “That was my challenge to the team before the game, to go out and take the fight to them defensively. Make them work for everything on offense. They played one game last week and were really good offensively so we took that as a challenge.”The Coyotes led from the get-go scoring eight of the game’s first 10 points. They took an 18-4 lead into the second quarter and were up 49-34 after three quarters. Their biggest lead was 23 with 6:45 left in the game.Showman said he expected his team to play well after solid practice sessions Monday and Tuesday.“I thought we had two good days of practice, better than maybe some might have thought coming off two disappointing losses,” he said. “We were really locked in yesterday and you saw how we came out. That’s what we needed tonight.”The Coyotes play 16th-ranked Dakota State (2-2) at 3 p.m. Saturday in Madison, S.D. then open Kansas Conference play against Friends at 6 p.m. November 15 in Mabee Arena.