Kansas Wesleyan junior Gabbie Miller couldn’t find her shot at the free throw line.
She made up for it on the defensive end.
Miller poked away the ball with under five seconds for one of her seven steals, sophomore guard Haleigh Bradford hit four threes and the Coyotes held on for a 60-57 win at York.
The road woes continued early for KWU. The Panthers built a 22-13 advantage after one quarter. Wesleyan trimmed the margin down to four before seeing the cushion balloon back out to nine, 32-23.
The Coyotes found their rhythm and closed out the first half with an 8-0 spurt to only trail 32-31. KWU rode that momentum, starting the third frame on a 10-3 run to go up 41-35. Bradford nailed three triples in the third, allowing KWU to lead 48-47 after three.
KWU’s largest advantage shot up to nine with 7:34 to play in the game, but the Panthers forced turnovers to stay alive. York had a desperation heave at the buzzer for the tie, but was off the mark.
Bradford paced the Coyotes with 13 points, all coming in the second half. Miller had five points, nine rebounds and seven steals. While having 19 turnovers, Wesleyan forced 25 York miscues. Wesleyan (3-4, 1-0) returns home for the First Bank Kansas – Smoky Hill Showdown on Saturday. Tipoff is at 5 pm with pregame at 4:45 on FM 104.9.
YORK 83, WESLEYAN 72
Head men’s basketball coach Anthony Monson stated how vital the first five minutes of the game would be.
That was true as the Coyotes had eight early turnovers, allowing the Panthers to jump out to an 11-2 lead. KWU fought back to only trail 14-12 in the first half, but the Panthers outscored the Coyotes 36-11 to build a 50-23 halftime advantage.
However, Wesleyan didn’t stop playing. KWU chipped away at the insurmountable lead, closing out the contest on a 24-10 run.
Sophomore Jordan McNelly had 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Jamon Fulton, Rashun Allen and Ernest Carter each had 10 points. York scored 25 points of KWU’s 20 turnovers.
Before facing Bethany on Saturday, Kansas Wesleyan (2-3, 0-1) faces Emporia State in an exhibition game Thursday. Tipoff is at 7 pm with pregame at 6:45 on FM 104.9.