With the offense sputtering and the Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball team trailing by 12, the Coyotes needed a spark.
Sophomore Kayla Vallin generated an entire fire.
The Aurora, Colorado native connected on a trio of threes in the fourth, sophomore guard Haleigh Bradford drilled a key triple with 46 seconds left and the Coyotes edged the Doane Tigers 71-70 to open the Rib Crib – Kansas Wesleyan Coyote Classic on Friday in Mabee Arena.
While Vallin shined in the final stanza, the first half belonged to Doane senior McKenna Dodd. Fifteen of Dodd’s career-high 32 points came in the first quarter, but Wesleyan kept it close, taking the lead after a triple by sophomore Courtney Heinen with 3:30 to go. The Coyotes would lose the upperhand, but regain control after a trey by junior Sydney Mortensen.
Doane was behind 29-28 until Wesleyan went cold. The Tigers closed out the first half on a 12-0 run to grab an 11-point cushion, 41-30. In the second and third frames, the Coyotes were 6-of-29 from the floor and sunk into a 14-point hole late in the third.
Vallin turned things around with nine of her career-high 13 points in the last quarter. Bradford’s triple came after a deflection and Kansas Wesleyan sealed the win by going 8-of-10 at the foul line in the remaining period.
The Coyotes were 24-of-30 as a team at the charity stripe. Bradford was 8-of-10 herself, putting him 15 points for team-high honors.
KWU (8-7) takes on USAO (9-2) Saturday at 4 pm. Pregame begins at 3:45 on FM 104.9. The Drovers handled McPherson 83-55 earlier in the day.
DOANE 69, KANSAS WESLEYAN 65
Kansas Wesleyan and Doane traded blows in the opening half. The lead changed eight times with the score being tied three different ocasions
After taking a 21-20 lead with 9:41 to play, the Coyotes expanded that margin to six for their largest cushion of the game. Doane’s answer allowed the Tigers to take a three-point lead into the locker room, 40-37.
Doane ignored the 10 turnovers in the first half by shooting 63 percent from the floor. Wesleyan was at 44 percent, but those numbers dipped drastically in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
KWU recorded just two field goals in that span, allowing the Tigers to build up an 18-point advantage with 12:14 to play in the game. The Coyotes clawed back to within five, 68-63, in hopes of a steal and a three. Wesleyan forced the turnover, just couldn’t get a triple to drop on a couple tries.
Junior Rashun Allen led the charge with 11 points. Freshman Darius Hammond had an impressive debut, matching Allen in points. Doane freshman Nick Kornieck had game-high honors with 27 points, going 7-of-11 from beyond the arc and 9-of-16 from the floor.
Wesleyan (7-6) welcomes No. 16 Central Methodist (12-1) on Saturday. Pregame begins at 5:45 on FM 104.9. CMU took down No. 8 Southwestern 80-68.