Mon, Dec. 17, 2012 - [Men's Basketball]
Another quick start by the opposing team forced the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes to play catch-up on Monday night as the Coyotes hosted the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers at Mabee Arena. Dakota Wesleyan jumped out to a 12-2 lead and held the Coyotes at arms-length en route to an 85-71 win.
Dakota Wesleyan's Mike Lee gave the Tigers a 12-2 lead with 16:03 left in the first half, forcing the Coyotes to play catch-up again. A three by Canon Fields cut the deficit to seven points with 15:46 to go, but a pair of free throws by Bo LaCroix put the Tigers up 12 with 13:48 to go in the half.
The Coyotes answered back with six straight points to cut the lead to six with 12:23 to go on a bucket by Dane Brinker, only to see the Tigers push their lead back out to double digits with 10:51 to go in the half. Jalen Voss cleaned up a miss by Mike Lee with 8:32 to go to put Dakota Wesleyan up 13 and force a KWU timeout.
After the break, the Coyotes seemed energized, scoring the next five points to get within eight at 27-19 with 7:20 to go. Another charge by the Tigers increased their lead to 33-19 with 5:08 to go before the break. That's when the Coyotes made their big move. Dylan Hidalgo hit a pair of 3-pointers for the Coyotes, sandwiching a triple by DWU's Danny Maman to cut the deficit to nine, and Brinker scored a layup with 2:43 to go to get the Coyotes back within seven at 36-29.
A bucket by Fields with 1:33 to go got the Coyotes within five at 39-33, but Luke Bamberg's bucket with a minute left would send Dakota Wesleyan into the break up 40-33.
Voss got Dakota Wesleyan up by nine to open the second half, but four straight points by the Coyotes got then back within five with 18:27 to go in the second half at 42-37. A three-point play by Fields kept the Coyotes within seven at 47-40 with 16:07 to go, when the Tigers would make a decisive 12-2 run to take a 59-42 lead with 13:07 left on a three by Jade Miller.
Not about to give in, the Coyotes came charging back, keying on a pair of free throws by Michael Johnson, KWU went on a 21-9 run to get within five points at 68-63 with 5:52 to go in the game on a bucket by Scott Weber.
Dakota Wesleyan had an answer, scoring the next nine points to take a 77-63 lead with 4:18 to go and forcing another Coyote timeout. The Coyotes would get back within ten with 3:52 to go, but got no closer as the Tigers built a 83-67 lead with 2:09 left and would hold on for the 14-point win.
Fields led all scorers in the game with 23 points for KWU (2-10) and also led the Coyotes with eight rebounds and five assists. Dylan Hidalgo scored the first 10 points of his KWU career tonight as the Coyotes were 28-of-68 from the field for 41.2 percent, but struggled from long range, connecting on just 4-of-16 3-point attempts on the night.
Voss led Dakota Wesleyan (7-7) with 21 points and 14 rebounds as four players reached double figures for the Tigers who shot 29-of-66 from the field for 43.9 percent. Bamberg added 11 rebounds as the Tigers dominated the glass 48-29, including a 24-9 advantage in the second half.
KWU is off until December 28 when they host the Kansas Wesleyan Classic in Mabee Arena. The Coyotes play Southwestern Christian on December 28 at 8 p.m., before hosting Midland on December 29 at 6 p.m. The Coyotes resume KCAC play on January 3 at Bethel.