Sun, Feb. 17, 2013 - [Women's Basketball]
A fast start for the Kansas Wesleyan women couldn't hold up as Tabor was able to knock off the Coyotes 81-77 on Saturday night at Mabee Arena in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Coyotes jumped out to a 16-4 lead with 12:27 to go in the first half on a three by Christian Cassity that capped a 10-0 run for the Coyotes. The Coyotes did struggle with containing Tabor's guards Nikki Lewis and Katlyn Mary as the duo combined for 48 of Tabor's 81 points on the night.
A free throw by Lewis got Tabor back within a pair with 6:54 to go before the half when the Coyotes took control again. An 11-4 run by the Coyotes capped by scores by Alecia Smith and Cassity ran Wesleyan's lead back out to nine points at 32-23 with 2:42 to go before the break.
Tabor answered back with a 9-0 run of its own to tie things up at 32-all with 1:17 to go and a bucket by Mary at the buzzer would send Tabor into the half up 34-33.
The Bluejays pushed their lead to three points to open the second half, but a bucket and a three by Vanessa Kresin gave the Coyotes a 38-36 lead with 19:08 to go. Smith added a three-point play to push Wesleyan's lead to five points at 41-36.
Back came Tabor as Lewis and Mary combined to score the next seven points to give the lead back to Tabor with 17:30 to go. McKenna Britton tied things up before a three by Mary gave the Bluejays a 46-43 lead with 16:07 to go.
Free throws by Cassity with 13:03 left gave the lead back to the Coyotes at 48-46, and Wesleyan built a 52-48 lead with 12:15 left on Kalie LeShore's bucket. Tabor had another answer as the Bluejays used an 11-2 run to take a 59-54 lead with 9:51 left.
Tabor's lead grew to as many as nine points with 4:35 left when the Coyotes tried to mount a comeback. With Tabor leading by eight with 45 seconds left, the Coyotes made a final charge at the Bluejays. A three by Jessica Olson cut the Tabor lead to five, and a bucket by Smith with 21 seconds left got the Coyotes within three at 77-74.
Tabor would hit one-of-two free throws and the Coyotes would rebound and fly down the floor and Olson would bury another triple to get Wesleyan within a point with 14 seconds left. Forced to foul, the Coyotes sent Mary to the line and she hit both charities to go up three.
Wesleyan tried to find an open look at a game-tying three but could not and Tabor would grab the rebound of a missed shot and seal the win with a free throw with a second left.
The Coyotes had five in double figures led by Kresin and Smith with 16 each, while Olson had 14, Cassity 12 and Britton had 11 as Wesleyan was 24-of-54 from the field for 44.4 percent that included 50 percent shooting in the second half. Smith led the Coyotes with eight rebounds as Wesleyan dominated the Bluejays on the glass 40-27.
Lewis led all scorers with 26, while Mary added 22 as Tabor shot 28-of-53 from the field for 52.8 percent. Molly Moran had six rebounds to lead Tabor.
Up next for both teams is the KCAC PostSeason Tournament which starts on Thursday. Tabor is the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will host seventh seeded Ottawa at 7 p.m., in Hillsboro. Wesleyan is the No. 4 seed in the tournament and hosts fifth-seeded Sterling at 7 p.m. at Mabee Arena. The quarterfinal winners will meet Saturday night at 7 p.m., at the site of the higher seeded team. The KCAC Championship is February 25 at Hartman Arena in Park City.