After a come-from-behind win fell short for the Kansas Wesleyan men’s basketball team on Friday, the Coyotes were looking for redemption against No. 16 Central Methodist.
Wesleyan trailed by two and had the ball with 19 seconds left. Freshman Marquis Kraemer charged toward the rim, but his shot was denied, allowing CMU to escape the Rib Crib – Kansas Wesleyan Coyote Classic with a 55-53 victory.
Kansas Wesleyan struggled mightily to open the game, recording just two field goals in the first 10:30 minutes. The Coyotes weren’t phased, though, outscoring CMU 23-16 down the stretch to only be behind 30-28 at the half.
The Eagles defense forced the Coyotes into the same shooting hole to start the second half, building their largest lead of 13 points with 11:39 remaining. After that 48-35 cushion, KWU responded with an 8-0 spurt, trimming the margin down to five.
Trailing 53-51, Kraemer went to the free throw line for a one-and-one. He missed the freebie, but senior Terell Gandy saved the ball inbounds that led to the game-tying bucket by junior Ernest Carter with 2:35 to play. CMU went back out front after a bucket by Brian Egejuru, which ended up being the final bucket of the contest.
Egejuru, CMU’s leading scorer averaging 20.3 points per game, made just two buckets to finish with seven points. Isaiah Thurmond led the Eagles with 14 points.
For Kansas Wesleyan, junior Rashun Allen poured in a career-high 14 points. Senior Jamon Fulton chipped in 10 points. Gandy added 11.
KWU (7-7) stays at Mabee Arena Wednesday when the Coyotes play McPherson. Pregame at 7:45 on FM 104.9.
USAO 58, KANSAS WESLEYAN 50
KWU junior Gabbie Miller came right out of the gate with the game’s first nine points. Meanwhile, the Coyotes didn’t give up a bucket until five minutes into the contest. When that happened, USAO trimmed the deficit to two at the end of the quarter, 16-14.
After the hot start, Wesleyan fell silent. The Coyotes were 2-of-17 from the floor in the second stanza, allowing the Drovers to go up 34-22 at the break.
The shooting didn’t get much better in the third, but Kansas Wesleyan stayed alive by forcing seven turnovers in the third period. Wesleyan closed the gap to two, 43-41, following a 7-0 run, but USAO made shots to get the win.
Sophomore Courtney Heinen led the Coyotes with 11 points on 3-of-16 shooting. Miller provided 10 points and freshman Amanda Hill scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Wesleyan’s defense held USAO to 28 percent in the second half, but the Coyote offense managed just 24 percent from the floor for the entire game.
Wesleyan (8-8) welcomes McPherson on Wednesday. Pregame at 5:45 on FM 104.9.