HILLSBORO – Kansas Wesleyan women’s coach Ryan Showman had no issues with his team’s overall effort or its work on the defensive end of the floor.
The Coyotes’ problems in their Kansas Conference game against Tabor were on offense.
KWU shot 39 percent (16 of 41), managed just five 3-point shot attempts (2 of 5), missed 11 free throws (16 of 27) and committed 22 turnovers in a 60-50 loss Wednesday night.
“I thought we played good defense, that’s what was keeping us going,” Showman said on his postgame radio show. “We played hard, our effort was there, you absolutely can’t fault that.
“It was our inability on the offensive end whether it was free throws at inopportune times, whether it was shots in the paint, we were limited on 3-pointers – they did a really good job of taking that away. We got some good looks.”
The loss dropped the Coyotes to 8-7 overall, 6-3 in the KCAC while Tabor improved to 8-6 and 6-3.
The Bluejays entered the game ranked 16th in the NAIA in scoring defense allowing 56 points per game – 55 in conference play – and they improved on that Wednesday.
“We’ve got to be able to finish things especially on the road against a good team, yada, yada that whole song and dance,” Showman said. “We’ve got be able to do it and we just weren’t able to do that.”
The Coyotes forced 23 Bluejays turnovers and limited them to 40.5 percent shooting (17 of 42) but Tabor was 9 of 18 beyond the 3-point arc and 17 of 24 at the foul line.
The Bluejays took control with a 9-2 run to open the second quarter that made it 21-13 then finished with a 6-2 burst and led 29-21 at halftime.
Two Angel Roman (SO/Jacksonville, Fla.) free throws cut the KWU deficit to 37-32 with 3:27 left in the third quarter but two 3-pointers extended Tabor’s advantage to 43-34 going into the final 10 minutes.
A 6-1 run gave the Bluejays their biggest lead of the game, 53-39, with 3:13 left. A quick 9-3 KWU surge made it 56-48 but only 42 seconds remained.
“I thought if we could keep (the score) in the high 50s, low 60s we’d have a really great chance (to win),” Showman said. “But at the end of the day you’ve got to score buckets.”
Kassidy Beam scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and Zoe Rust had 13 points for Tabor.
Wesleyan is back on the road Saturday for a 5 p.m. game against York in York, Nebraska. The Panthers (6-7, 4-5 KCAC) lost to Friends 61-52 Wednesday in York.