A strong shooting night for the Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball team helped the Coyotes pull away for a 69-44 win over the Avila University Eagles on Saturday at Mabee Arena,
The Coyotes used a big second and third quarter to extend the lead which was nine after the first quarter that was 16-7 in Wesleyan’s favor.
The battle of the two purple-clad teams, who both play in a building called Mabee, was decided in favor the Salina squad as KWU outscored Avila 43-27 over the second and third quarter span.
Wesleyan’s defense was again exceptional for coach Ryan Showman, as KWU limited the Eagles to 30.2 percent shooting from the field (16 of 53) and just 4 of 20 from 3-point range for 20 percent.
Meanwhile, the Coyotes got the offensive gears turning, shooting 46.2 percent from the field for the game, led by Caila Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.)’s 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting, while Tylieea Wallace (SO/Overland Park, Kan.) added 15, going 5 of 8 from the field. The duo combined to go 9 of 10 from the free thrown line.
The Coyotes led 26-18 with 2:47 left in the second when KWU went on an 8-0 run pushing the lead out to 34-18 with 39 seconds left in the half on free throws by LaMyah Ricks (JR/Shawnee Mission, Kan.). KWU led 34-20 at the half.
Wesleyan scored the first five points of the third quarter, and after Avila cut the difference back to 16, a 12-1 run in favor of KWU capped by 3-pointers by Angel Roman (SO/Jacksonville, Fla.) and Kourtney Kaufman (SO/Moundridge, Kan.) made it 56-29 in favor of the Coyotes with 1:22 left in the quarter.
The Coyotes never trailed in the game as Hill’s bucket with 8:37 left in the first got things started and Avila drew within a point twice in the quarter the last time with 4:28 to go.
A 3 by Jill Stephens (SO/Colby, Kan.) and a bucket by Wallace pushed Wesleyan’s lead out to six with 3:37 left. A bucket from Wallace made it 14-5 with 1:33 to go and KWU led 16-7 at the end of the quarter after Roman’s bucket just before the end of the quarter.
Ricks joined Hill and Wallace as double digit scorers for the Coyotes, adding 11 as KWU was 24 of 52 from the field for the game. KWU controlled the rebounding margin as well, 39-28, led by nine from Hill and seven from Wallace.
The Coyotes are back in action on Wednesday, heading to Bartlesville to take on Oklahoma Wesleyan. KWU is then at Ottawa on Saturday. KWU plays 3 of 4 at home to end the regular season, starting with Saint Mary on February 8.