Sun, Feb. 17, 2013 - [Men's Basketball]
All season long, the Kansas Wesleyan Men's Basketball team has fought through adversity. Saturday night's game against Tabor was no exception. Faced with a 25-point deficit with ten and a half minutes left in the game, Wesleyan put together an incredible rally, but fell just short as Tabor came away with an 84-79 win over the Coyotes on Saturday night at Mabee Arena.
With the loss Wesleyan ends its season with an 8-20 overall record and a 5-13 mark in the KCAC, a much improved season from a year ago. This year's team took immense steps in changing the culture of KWU basketball and has laid a foundation for future teams to build upon positively.
The Coyotes came out on fire, jumping out to a 13-3 lead on Tabor thanks to back-to-back triples with 15:14 to go before the half. The Coyotes led 16-9 with 12:01 to go before the break when Tabor would take control with a 19-0 run over the next five and a half minutes to take a 28-16 lead capped by a free throw by Michael Janzen.
The Coyotes got back within seven before Tabor pushed its lead back out to 15 with 2:45 left at 39-24. The Bluejays took a 43-29 lead into the half.
A three by Brock Borovetz with 18:16 to go in the game got the Coyotes back within 10, but another 9-0 run by Tabor capped by a dunk by Ryan Chippeaux gave the Bluejays a 54-35 lead with 16:01 to go. The Coyotes saw Tabor push its lead to a game high 25 on a three by Reggie Butler to make it 66-41.
That's when things started turning in favor of the Coyotes. Five straight from Canon Fields, who missed a majority of the first half with foul trouble, got the Coyotes within 20 and a later pair of free throws by Dylan Hidalgo got Wesleyan within 18 with 8:40 to go.
A steal and layup by Fields with 4:41 left cut the Tabor lead to 10 at 72-62 as the Coyotes outscored Tabor 21-6 to that point. The Coyotes weren't done as Michael Johnson's free throws with 4:19 left got the Coyotes within eight at 72-64.
Tabor went back up by ten when a bucket by Garret Pasold and free throws by Fields got the Coyotes within six at 74-68 with 3:02 to go. Not to be denied the Coyotes kept fighting, getting within three with 30 seconds left on a triple by Borovetz, but four free throws by Tabor down the stretch would give the Bluejays the win.
Fields capped his stellar season for the Coyotes with 27 points, six rebounds, three assists and five steals, while Borovetz added 18 points as Wesleyan was 27-of-70 from the field for 38.6 percent. Michael Johnson led the Coyotes with seven rebounds.
Fields dominated the KCAC in 2012-13, potentially setting a new KCAC all-time single game points record with his 50-point performance on Thursday at Bethany. He shattered the previous Wesleyan record of 44 set in 1957 by Larry Houdek and equaled in 1965 by Jim Rash, and also broke Jason Gentz' single season points record of 644 set in 1996. Fields finished the season with 679 points, and currently leads the NAIA in scoring and scoring average. He leads the KCAC scoring race just over eight points per game, and ranks fifth in the KCAC in rebounding. He also leads the league in steals and assists.
Tabor got 30 points from Brent Jackson and a 14 point, 14 rebound double-double from Chippeaux as the Bluejays shot 27-of-60 from the field for 45 percent