Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball coach Ryan Showman emerged from the team’s locker Wednesday night looking like he’d been standing outside Mabee Arena in the rain and snow. His black suitcoat was soaked as were his shirt, pants, hair and face.
He didn’t mind one iota, though. Just part of the celebration following the Coyotes’ 77-51 victory over Southwestern and his 200th victory as KWU’s coach.
“I told the team this record is attached to me but it’s about all of us,” said Showman, who’s in his 11th season. “I’ve just been extremely blessed with the young ladies I’ve been able to coach, the coaches I’ve been able to coach with and just being able to be in a position where we can compete every night.”
Showman spent five seasons as Gordon Reimer’s assistant before being promoted before the 2012-13 season. His career record at KWU is 200-127, which includes a 142-80 slate against the KCAC.
“Sixteen years later here we are still going, still trying to push things forward the way he started it,” Showman said of Reimer. “That’s a man that I’m forever grateful for for giving me an opportunity as a young assistant coach and then trusting me to be able to lead the program.”
Reimer taught Showman a lot but his first piece of advice still resonates 11 years later.
“Don’t let anybody out work you,” Showman said. “Good things come to those who work hard and he was one of the hardest working coaches I’ve ever been around. The results speak for it and that’s what I’m trying to live up to.”
Caila Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.), KWU’s starting center, will vouch for that.
“We’re really proud of him because he is an amazing coach and he pours his all into our team and our season,” said Hill, who scored a team-best 12 points and had five rebounds. “He spends nights watching film instead of hanging out with his family and stuff so he’s definitely very dedicated. For us to get 200 shows our dedication back to him.”
Hill, who’s in her fourth season with Showman, said basketball is only part of it.
“He really cares about the players not only on the court but off the court,” she said. “He’s very dedicated to our schooling and our personal lives and just us as a whole. Just being able to play for him is really special.”
The Coyotes improved to 10-7 overall and 8-3 in the Kansas Conference with their second consecutive victory. They’ve won 10 of their last 12 games.
Southwestern (3-14, 0-11) took an early 9-3 lead but KWU closed the first quarter on a 9-0 run and led 15-12 going into the second quarter. The Coyotes led 29-22 at halftime fueled by another 9-0 run late in the period.
They pulled away after halftime outscoring the Moundbuilders 28-10 in the third quarter. They started with an 11-2 burst and scored the final eight points of the period for a 57-32 advantage. The lead grew to as many as 29 points (69-40) in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we defended really, really well in the first half,” Showman said. “We just couldn’t get shots to fall, we struggled a little bit offensively. You credit Southwestern for that, they’re athletic and they took some things away. They clogged some things up and we didn’t adjust very well.
“I thought in the second half we came out and pushed it in transition a little bit better, we finished inside a little bit better – all the while getting (defensive) stops.”
Angel Roman (SO/Jacksonville, Fla.) and Tylieea Wallace (SO/Overland Park, Kan.) each scored 10 points for Wesleyan, which shot 43.5 percent (27 of 67), won the rebounding battle 39-30 and forced 22 turnovers that led to 16 points.
The reserves played a huge role combining for 41 points as 14 Coyotes scored in the game.
“Our people off the bench just really put a fire under us,” Hill said.
Southwestern shot 39 percent (19 of 49) and was led by Denisha Anderson with 14 points.
KWU travels to McPherson to play the Bulldogs at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Sport Center. McPherson (7-10, 4-7 KCAC) lost to Friends 65-58 Wednesday in Wichita.