Strong second half propels Coyotes over Falcons 70-57

WICHITA – Ryan Showman wasn’t going to stand and watch his Kansas Wesleyan women’s team stand around on the offensive end of the court for another half and he informed his players of his displeasure during the intermission.


The results were obvious and dramatically better the final 20 minutes. The Coyotes took control with a out of the chute in the third quarter and pulled away for a 70-57 Kansas Conference victory over Friends on Monday night at the Garvey Center.


KWU won for the 13th time in its last 16 games and improved to 13-8 overall, 11-4 in the KCAC.


“It was a very calm conversation at halftime,” Showman said on his postgame radio show. “We were defending well enough to win the game, we just needed to do a few things better offensively.


“The biggest thing was the movement. It didn’t matter what we ran, if we were going to stand it wasn’t going to work and so we got into a different offense and it created some more movement.


“We moved the defense side to side and the backside was wide open. We were able to take advantage of that.”


The Coyotes outscored Friends 43-28 the second half after trailing 29-27 at the break. Down 33-29 following Jailen Johnson’s 3-pointer with 7:58 left in the third quarter KWU scored 16 of the next 19 points – Jill Stephens (SO/Colby, Kan.) accounting for eight points – and led 45-36 with 2:25 left in the period.


Caila Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.) field goal two seconds before the horn gave the Coyotes a 51-44 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Falcons got within six twice, the second time 59-53 with 5:26 left, but the Coyotes finished the game on an 11-4 run.


Tylieea Wallace (SO/Overland Park, Kan.) and LaMyah Ricks (JR/Shawnee Mission, Kan.) led the way with 15 points apiece. Wallace also had six rebounds and three assists and Ricks four assists, four rebounds and three steals. Hill added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.


KWU shot 46.2 percent (24 of 52) including 6 of 16 from beyond the 3-point arc. The Coyotes won the rebounding battle 31-30 and forced 16 Friends turnovers that led to 19 points. Wesleyan had 12 turnovers – nine the first half.


McKenzie Shippy led Friends (12-8, 8-6 KCAC) with 14 points while Taylor Jackson had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. The Falcons shot 38.3 percent (18 of 47) including 4 of 10 from long range.


The game was the Coyotes’ fourth in a row on the road; they went 3-1.


“They responded well in adversity to this whole road thing,” Showman said. “We’re starting to get the hang of it, we’re playing really well right now. I go back to even our loss to Bethany, I felt we played well in that game for long stretches. We’re playing well at the right time.”


That said, Showman said the road trip was not easy.


“I know it’s worn on them,” he said. “I thought you saw some heavy legs out there today but we powered through, we fought through. It just shows the resiliency of this team and that’s going to take us far.”


As for their next game on Saturday against Avila at 5 p.m. inside Mabee Arena


“It’s going to be really great to get back home,” Showman said.