Story by Aubreigh Heck, KWU Sports Media Team writer
The Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball team started their Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play 0-1 after falling to the Bethany Swedes 74-64 on Wednesday evening at Mabee Arena.
The Coyotes now sit at 0-5, but they are getting better each game.
“We knew coming in that it would be a process,” head coach Ryan Showman said. “We’re getting close. We need to be encouraged by this because there are a lot of really great things that we could take.
“This type of effort doesn’t beat the good teams in our conference, but it does beat a lot of teams in our conference. That’s something we can build off of.”
Even though the Coyotes kept the score relatively close in the first half, the Swedes were able to take off with the game early in the third. Kansas Wesleyan went 0-6 in their 3-point attempts in the second half, and 1-11 overall for 9.1 percent for the game.
“We missed a lot in the paint, you have to finish those. Against a good team you have to be able to make those, and we didn’t do it,” Showman said. “I feel like we had an answer in the first half for a lot of their runs, we didn’t have that answer in the second half. (Bethany) had some veterans step up and make some shots, we didn’t have an answer for that.
Bethany shot 51.9 percent from the field, while KWU shot 33.8 percent from the field. The Coyotes also made 17-22 free throws (77.3 percent).
Tylieea Wallace (SO/Overland Park, Kan.) led the Coyotes with 14 points, while LaMyah Ricks (JR/Shawnee Mission, Kan.) added 11 and Jill Stephens (SO/Colby, Kan.) 10.
While the final score may not have been what Kansas Wesleyan wanted, there were still positives to be taken away from this game for KWU, especially with the Coyote defense.
“I was more pleased tonight with the defense than I have been all season. I thought we got tired and let a couple breakdowns get taken advantage of,” Showman said. “But overall, this has been the best defensive effort. Forcing 24 turnovers, holding them to six offensive rebounds with five of those in the first half. They only had one second chance in the second half, so there’s a lot to like.”
Kansas Wesleyan will take on the Bethel Threshers (1-4, 0-1) on Saturday Nov. 19 at Mabee Arena on its search for its first win of the season, game start is at 5:00 PM CT.