The Saint Mary Spires continue to ride the Ryan Sports Center magic.
Despite shooting 34 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the arc, the Spires found a way to edge the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes 70-64 in men’s basketball. The Coyotes haven’t won at St. Mary since 2008.
Kansas Wesleyan jumped out to an 8-0 advantage before St. Mary made its first bucket with 16:28 to play in the first half. After building a 17-11 cushion, the Spires had runs of 8-0 and 10-0 to grab a 36-27 halftime lead.
KWU turned a 10-point deficit to a two-point margin with an 8-0 spurt to only trail 39-37. The Coyotes finally jumped ahead at the 12:02 mark, leading 48-46. With the game tied at 56-all, the Spires created a six-point advantage and nailed free throws down the stretch for the win.
The Coyotes had just two threes and 10 free throws to the Spires’ nine triples and 23 freebies. Sophomore Jordan McNelly picked up a huge double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds. Jamon Fulton and Rashun Allen had 11 points apiece and Zach Rammelt had a career-high 10 points off the bench.
The Coyotes (4-4, 2-2) continue their road tour with a trip to Bethel on Saturday.
ST. MARY 65, KANSAS WESLEYAN 62
The Spires separated themselves in the first quarter with a 22-15 lead after one, but Kansas Wesleyan stormed back in the second period. Senior Mariah Knox had seven of her 14 points in the second, including a three at the 3:04 mark to give KWU a 30-29 advantage.
After a 33-33 stalemate at the half, KWU grabbed a six-point lead numerous times, only to see it drop to 51-48 after three frames. St. Mary turned the tide by going out front 63-59, but a late three by Haleigh Bradford cut the margin to one with 37 seconds left.
The Spires turned to leading scorer Candy De Los Reyes for a heave that went in after the kind roll with 7.1 ticks remaining. KWU turned up a play, but couldn’t get off a decent look.
Knox led the charge with 14 points, but junior Gabbie Miller had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sister Maddie Miller was close behind with 10 points and eight rebounds.
KWU (5-5, 3-1) travels to Bethel on Saturday with pregame starting at 4:45 on FM 104.9.