Sat, Jan. 19, 2013 - [Women's Basketball]
OTTAWA – Wilson Fieldhouse is a difficult place to play the game if you are a road team. The Kansas Wesleyan Women's Basketball team felt differently. Fueled by an 18-0 run to end the first half that extended to a 26-0 run to start the second half, the Coyotes rolled to a 70-60 over the Ottawa Braves on Saturday night at Wilson Fieldhouse.
The 18-0 run by the Coyotes erased a 9-point deficit for the Coyotes and sent them into the break leading 42-33. Wesleyan scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 50-33 lead in the game before Amber Ramsey's free throws with 16:07 left, which were Ottawa's first points since the 6:29 mark of the second half.
"It (the 18-0 run) was huge," Wesleyan coach Ryan Showman said. "We were getting beat defensively and we switched to a zone and I thought that limited them and we rebounded extremely well and we went back and executed well offensively and made some shots."
Alecia Smith's free throw with 15:16 to go pushed Wesleyan's lead to 53-35, when Ottawa used a 10-3 run to get within 11 at the 8:59 mark on a bucket by Sarah Neptune. Christian Cassity's rebound and stickback with 6:48 left pushed Wesleyan's lead back out to 16 points at 63-47.
A three by Lauren Buckles and seven straight points by Ramsey, who scored a career high 28, cut Wesleyan's lead to six with 3:51 to go, and the Braves were within six again with 2:45 left, but a huge three by Olson with 1:49 to go put the Coyotes back up nine and Ottawa got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
"It was something we talked about in the locker room about what happened at Tabor (on Wednesday), that we gave up the lead and lost the game," Showman said. "But it really made me feel good that we were able to take that step, correct that mistake and we were able to protect the lead tonight and win the game."
Kresin's free throws with 2.2 seconds left sealed the deal for the Coyotes in the ten point win.
"It was some great game management from our team tonight," Showman added. "We made smart decisions and we were able to get the win."
The first half went back and forth with big runs by both teams. Wesleyan opened the game with a 12-0 run after Ottawa scored the first points of the contest, taking a 12-2 lead with 17:29 to go after Alecia Smith's 3-point play. Ottawa had an answer, scoring 15 of the next 17 points to take its own 17-14 lead with 13:43 left on Amber Ramsey's bucket.
Shelby Heim knotted the score at 17 with a three on Wesleyan's next possession, but Ottawa built as much as a 7-point lead with 10:43 to go on a pair of Amber Ramsey free throws as she scored six straight points for the Braves.
Ottawa's lead grew to nine points with 6:29 to go in the half on another bucket by Ramsey when the Coyotes put the rally caps on again. That was the final points of the half for Ottawa as Jessica Olson's three with 4:11 left evened the score at 33-all as the Coyotes scored the next nine points to cap an 18-0 run to end the half and give Wesleyan a 42-33 lead at the half.
Wesleyan (11-9, 6-4 KCAC) shot an amazing 63 percent in the first half, while holding Ottawa to just 40 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.
Kresin broke out of a recent slump and led the way with 18 for the Coyotes while Olson had 13 and Frost added 11 as the Coyotes were 27-of-56 from the field for 48.2 percent in the game. Smith added eight points and pulled down a game high 11 rebounds to help the Coyotes to a 38-26 rebounding advantage.
"Both myself and Vanessa have been waiting for this game for her to come out and hit first couple shots really kinda got us going," Showman said. "Jessica (Olson) hit a couple big three's for us, including one late, and Stephanie (Frost) was productive as usual for us as was Alecia (Smith)."
Ramsey's 28 led Ottawa, who shot 40.8 percent from the field (20-of-49) in the game. Ramsey's seven rebounds led the Braves in that category as well.
The Coyotes are back at home next week, hosting nationally ranked Southwestern on Wednesday at 5 p.m., before hosting Saint Mary on Saturday in a 2 p.m., start from Mabee Arena.
"Southwestern will be a great challenge for us," Showman said. "Our girls are excited about it. I know after losing by 30 down there, the girls have had this one circled. I'm excited to get back to work tomorrow and get ready because it's going to be a challenge for sure."