Women’s Basketball routs York 67-44 to open conference play

YORK, Neb. – Ryan Showman and his Kansas Wesleyan women’s basketball team obviously had not forgotten what transpired when they played York inside the Freeman Center back in December.

The Panthers upended KWU 63-62 for their first Kansas Conference victory of the year after six losses and the Coyotes were determined to avoid a repeat performance Wednesday night.

They did so in impressive fashion.

Led by four double-figure scorers and a superb defensive effort Wesleyan cruised to a 67-44 victory in the conference opener back in the Freeman Center.

Amanda Hill (SR/Rossville, Kan.) led the redemption charge with 17 points while Gabby Mureeba (JR/Allen, Texas) scored 16, LaMyah Ricks (SO/Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 13 and Caila Hill (JR/Rossville, Kan.) 13. Amanda Hill was 7 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 beyond the 3-point arc, while Mureeba was 5 of 7 shooting overall, Ricks 4 of 7 and Caila Hill 4 of 8.

The Coyotes improved to 5-1 overall in advance of a showdown with McPherson on Saturday in Salina. The victory also got KWU back on the winning track after a 77-73 setback against No. 11 Central Methodist on Saturday in Fayette, Mo.

“We were in control from the opening tip to the final buzzer,” Showman said on his postgame radio show. “I’m just really happy for that team because I know a year ago it was a very different locker room. I know that was on their minds.”

Four 3-pointers in the first quarter – two by Mureeba – gave the Coyotes an 18-10 heading into the second period. Leading 28-18 with midway through the quarter they pulled away with a 7-0 spurt and had took a 35-18 lead into intermission.

A 15-0 run in the third quarter turned a 37-22 lead into a 52-22 advantage and the lead grew to as many as 34 twice, the second time 62-28 early in the fourth quarter.

York shot just 24.6 percent for the game (15 of 61) compared to the Coyotes’ 48 percent (23 of 48) that included 50 percent from 3-point range (7 of 14). They had 15 assists on 23 made field goals.

“That’s good stuff against a zone,” Showman said. “That’s something we’ve been trying to preach in practice and a week ago we weren’t very good at Central Christian against their zone. To see us not even a week later get better I give all the credit in the world to the girls.”

Both teams had 20 turnovers and York won the rebounding battle 40-39 but the Panthers had no answers for KWU’s defense.

Amaia Diez led York with 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting. Shawnau Johnson scored 11 and Julia Trujillo 10.

“Defensively we’re playing at a high level,” Showman said. “We came in an executed, we were focused on our game plan, I thought we were very well prepared and knew what we needed to do to get a win.”

Saturday’s contest starts at 5 p.m. inside Mabee Arena. Wesleyan was picked to finish fourth and McPherson fifth in the KCAC coaches and media preseason polls.