Trailing by one at the half, Kansas Wesleyan head men’s basketball coach Anthony Monson turned to his senior point guard Jamon Fulton and asked for a spark.
Fulton gave him more than a fireball.
The former Highland Park Scot connected on four threes, igniting a crucial 18-0 run that gave the Coyotes a 95-77 victory over the Bethany Swedes at Mabee Arena.
KWU had a similar spurt in the first half when trailing 10-6 early. Wesleyan hit three triples to spark a 14-0 run to put the Coyotes ahead 20-10. That margin shrunk to seven before the Swedes closed out the half on a 12-4 spurt, capped off by a last-second three by junior Tyler Larkin.
Bethany padded the lead to 50-46 before the Yotes caught on fire. The 18-0 turnaround placed KWU ahead of BC with a 64-50 lead with 14:32 left in the game. The run ended up at 26-2 with the Coyotes ahead by nearly 20 points.
Fulton finished 4-of-5 from deep with a team-high 19 points. Junior big man Ithello Cross was 6-of-7 from the floor with 14 points and five boards. Junior swingman Ernest Carter made 4-of-his-6 shots for 11 points and seven rebounds. Kansas Wesleyan forced 21 turnovers and scored 28 points off those miscues.
Bethany issued nine KWU turnovers for 15 points in the first half. Larkin had 21 points, six rebounds and five turnovers. Freshman Isiah Saenz hit four triples to finish with 20 points off the bench.
Kansas Wesleyan (3-3, 1-1 KCAC) hosts Ottawa on Tuesday. Doubleheader coverage starts at 5:45 pm on FM 104.9.
Bethany (3-6, 0-2) gets McPherson on Tuesday. Coverage begins at 5:45 pm on 95.5 The Rock.
KANSAS WESLEYAN 76, BETHANY 71
Much like the men’s game, KWU went to a senior for the most important part of the contest. Post Mariah Knox connected on her lone three-point attempt late in the second half to push the Wesleyan advantage to nine, allowing the Coyotes to hold on.
KWU started the game strong with a 12-1 start. Bethany didn’t get its first point until the 5:53 mark in the opening quarter. The Coyotes closed the quarter with a 17-6 lead and ballooned the cushion to 31-13 in the second frame. The Swedes went on a 9-3 run to finish off the half, only trailing 34-22.
The opening of the second half was far from pretty. Twenty-three combined fouls where called resulting in 35 free throw attempts. BC trimmed the deficit to eight after three, 58-50.
Wesleyan flirted with control of the game when the Coyotes went ahead 70-58, but the Swedes had a 7-0 spurt before Knox’s trey.
Knox had 10 points, but it was sophomore Haleigh Bradford who led the attack. She finished with a career-high 16 points. Junior Maddie Miller had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Courtney Heinen scored 14 points and swiped four steals.
Bethany had a trio of double-digit scorers. Spearheading the effort was junior Marissa Pope with 17 points. Sophomore Lauren Welsch added 15 while junior Alex Tyson poured in 14 from the bench.
Kansas Wesleyan (4-4, 2-0) hosts Ottawa on Tuesday while Bethany (4-4, 1-1) gets McPherson.