Ryan Showman will need some time to process what he has accomplished as women’s basketball coach at Kansas Wesleyan – time he doesn’t have right now.
“I’m at a point where I’m just thrilled that we got a win and on to the next one,” Showman said following the Coyotes 64-39 Kansas Conference victory over Ottawa on Wednesday at Mabee Arena. The victory was No. 140 for Showman and tied him with his predecessor, Gordon Reimer, for the most victories in the program’s history.
“This is something I’ll probably be able to really reflect on in the offseason,” he said. “It’s good, my parents surprised me, they were here (from Seneca), they were coordinating things with my wife (Jenni), so it was really special to be able to do it here in front of them.”
The Coyotes will try and propel Showman past Reimer when they play Oklahoma Wesleyan at 3 p.m. Saturday in Bartlesville, Okla. Showman’s record at KWU is 140-96 in seven-plus seasons.
Showman was Reimer’s assistant starting with the 2007-08 season and replaced him when he departed before the 2012-13 season.
“I was fortunate to learn the right way and help him build the program into what it is,” Showman said of working with Reimer. “When I was able to take over it was in really good shape and a lot of credit goes to Gordon Reimer and the job he did.
“Lot of great players, lot of great (assistant) coaches that have been around over the last seven and a half years. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be able to be a part of it.”
Wednesday’s victory was the Coyotes’ ninth in a row in conference play, ninth in 10 games overall and was a workmanlike effort. Courtney Heinen (SR/Axtell, Kan.) had a double-double – 19 points, 10 rebounds – to go along with four assists and three steals. Amanda Hill (JR/Rossville, Kan.) had 14 points (12 the second half), five rebounds and four steals, and Kelcey Hinz (SO/Whitewater, Kan.) 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks as the Coyotes improved to 13-4 overall, 9-2 in the KCAC.
KWU led the final 36-plus minutes of the game, but didn’t put the pesky Braves away until the fourth quarter.
Heinen was coming off a tough outing against McPherson on Saturday, when she had three points and one rebound before fouling out.
“That game was not a good game at all,” she said. “I definitely had a different mindset coming in and I guess it helped.”
Securing the historic victory was important for her and her teammates.
“It’s just an awesome milestone for him,” said Heinen, who has played for Showman for four years. “We were just out there trying to win, like we do every game. It was important for him and for us.”
Heinen said winning was special for a coach she’s fond of.
“He knows us personally,” she said. “He’s a really good coach and gets us academically right and he’s very personal with us, which is good in my opinion. Building those relationships.”
Trailing 7-6 with 6:18 left in the first quarter the Coyotes scored eight unanswered points and took a 16-9 lead into the second quarter. Leading 22-18 with 6:13 left in the half KWU pulled away by outscoring the Braves 12-3 the rest of the half and led 34-21 at the break.
They led 47-32 after three quarters and outscored Ottawa 17-7 the final 10 minutes.
The Coyotes were sensational defensively, limiting the Braves to 26.9 percent shooting each half (7 of 26, 14 of 52 overall) and forced 21 turnovers that led to 30 points. McPherson had 29 turnovers on Saturday.
“Defensively we were solid,” Showman said. “When you hold a team to 39 points in this league you’re going to win a lot of games, no matter how good or how bad you play on offense.”
The Coyotes outscored the smaller Braves 46-18 in the paint, won the rebounding battle 40-31 and shot 46.7 percent from the field (28 of 60).
“We wanted to work inside-out, we wanted to work high-low and I thought we did a good job with that,” Showman said.
Jennifer Anthony led Ottawa with 12 points on four 3-pointers, but was the only Braves player in double figures.