Women’s Basketball comes up short against Saint Mary

LEAVENWORTH – In a back-and-forth tussle that went down to the wire, Saint Mary was able to make the decisive push in the waning seconds.

USM outscored Kansas Wesleyan 10-4 the final 1:58 of the game and notched a 74-69 Kansas Conference victory Wednesday night in the Ryan Sports Center.

The loss dropped KWU to 13-11, 11-7 in the conference while Saint Mary improved to 20-5 and 17-2.

Angel Lee’s basket with 2:21 left gave the Coyotes a 65-64 lead – their first lead of the second half – but Saint Mary responded with its final run.

Trailing 68-65 a LaMyah Ricks’ basket got KWU within 68-67 with 1:36 left. Katelynn Ostronic’s basket gave the Spires a 70-67 lead with 1:16 remaining but Hampton Williams’ basket cut the deficit to 70-69 with 53 seconds left.

The Spires closed it out on back-to-back baskets by Alanis Delgado sandwiched around a missed 3-point attempt by Wesleyan’s Angel Lee.

Lee, though, was a big reason the Coyotes stayed within striking distance throughout the game. She scored a career-high 23 points off the bench on 10 of 19 shooting from the field – most of the damage coming on midrange jump shots – and was 3 of 4 at the free throw line.

Lee scored eight of KWU’s 25 points in the fourth quarter.

“She makes (3-pointers) in practice, she doesn’t shoot it in the game,” KWU coach Ryan Showman said of Lee. “I thought she was going to be the one and it just fell short. But still a big performance by her, big performance by LaMyah Ricks.”

Ricks finished with 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting that included 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point line. She also had six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Hampton Williams added nine points, two steals and two blocks.

KWU shot 48.3 percent for the game (28 of 58) and was 7 of 19 from long distance. Saint Mary shot 38 percent (27 of 71) and was 7 of 25 from deep. The Spires outscored the Coyotes 13-6 at the foul line.

“We did a really good job of executing, moving the defense from side to side, finding the right shots for the right person at the right time,” Showman said. “We shot 62 percent in the fourth quarter, 48 for the game … I’m just really proud of the way we battled and I’m proud of this team. For the first time in a long time, we just came up short.”

Saint Mary, which is tied for second with Friends in the KCAC, led 39-37 at halftime and 49-47 entering the fourth quarter. There were eight ties and 12 lead changes in the game.

Tanea Sims led Saint Mary with 18 points – 16 in the second half. Ostronic scored 14 and Delgado 13.

“We don’t have time to dwell on this one because we’ve got four games in the next eight days starting on Saturday,” Showman said. “It’s going to put us in position for where we want to go postseason-wise.”

The Coyotes play Southwestern at 5 p.m. Saturday inside Mabee Arena. The Moundbuilders (0-23, 0-19 KCAC) lost to Friends 81-66 Wednesday in Winfield.