Ricks, Lee lead surging Coyotes past Ottawa 73-62

The Kansas Wesleyan women are playing their best basketball of the season when it matters most.LaMyah Ricks scored 20 points and Angel Lee 17 as the Coyotes defeated Ottawa 72-62 in a Kansas Conference game Monday night inside Mabee Arena. The game was rescheduled from February 10.The victory was their fifth in the last six games and raised their record to 15-11, 13-7 in the KCAC with two games left in the regular season. KWU is tied for fourth with Evangel in the standings, one game ahead of Bethany (12-8).Wesleyan led 32-26 at halftime and pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Braves 22-11. The Coyotes’ largest lead was 70-43 with 4:50 left in the game before Ottawa closed the gap down the stretch.KWU shot 50 percent (28 of 56) including 9 of 22 from beyond the 3-point arc and won the rebounding battle 35-28. Ottawa shot 46 percent (12 of 26) but was just 3 of 12 from deep and 5 of 10 at the free throw line“I thought defensively we were really good,” KWU coach Ryan Showman said. “Our goal is to allow 14 points or less and we did that each of the first three quarters.”Jill Stephens added 11 points and six rebounds and Alexis Dixon had 10 points and eight rebounds.“I didn’t think offensively we executed as well, I thought we left some opportunities out there,” Showman said. “That was the message at halftime, to go finish plays and I think the challenge was accepted.”Ricks, playing with black and blue bruise around one eye, was 8 of 10 from the field including 4 of 5 from long distance and had three assists. She’s on a roll offensively having scored 18 against Southwestern on Saturday and 18 against Saint Mary last Wednesday.“February LaMyah,” Showman said with a smile. “(The black eye) makes her look tough, builds character.”Lee continued her stellar play of late as well. She was 8 of 13 from the field and had four assists Monday. She scored 11 against Southwestern and had 23 against Saint Mary.“When my teammates tell me that I can do it anything is possible,” said Lee who comes off the bench.She said the Coyotes have come together as a team of late.“Having that chemistry we’re finally learning how each other plays,” she said. “Our main goals are to have fun, compete and play hard. As long as we do those three things everything seems to work out.”“She’s been a really great offensive weapon for us,” Showman said of Lee. “She plays well when she’s high confident and right now she has every reason to be high confident because she’s playing so well and that just feeds from one game to the next.”Kennedy Bankett led Ottawa (14-12, 9-11 KCAC) with 13 points.KWU closes out the regular season with games against Tabor on Wednesday in Hillsboro and York on Saturday inside Mabee Arena. The KCAC tournament begins February 28.Tabor leads the KCAC with a 16-1 record. The Bluejays defeated the Coyotes 77-61 January 6 in Mabee Arena.“Well approach it the same way we have been, no fancy stuff,” Lee said.