Coyote men tripped by Bethany
Anthony Monson wasn’t about to apologize after Kansas Wesleyan’s loss to Bethany on Wednesday night at Mabee Arena after a 22-day hiatus.
“We were a little rusty, we weren’t looking for any excuses,” he said. “Bethany had the same free time as we did, they just wanted more tonight.”
The Swedes knocked out the 80-73 ranked No.19 Coyotes in the first action of 2022 for both teams.
“They hit the shots they needed, they kept us and made it tough and we weren’t able to match their intensity and that’s why they came away with a win,” said My sound.
The Swedes shot 45.9% from the field against 37.1% for the Coyotes, and Bethany turned 17 KWU turnovers into 16 points.
Wesleyan had some bright spots as Jun Murdock (SO / Wichita, Kan.) Scored 30 points, and freshman sensation Alex Littlejohn (FR / Newton, Kan.) Scored 12 and had 18 career best rebounds. for the Coyotes.
“You’ve got to give some guys in our program a lot of credit, Jun Murdock and Alex Littlejohn,” Monson said. “But we have to have a full team effort and we have to have guys who play this hard all the time.”
The first 15 minutes of the game were tight and neither team led by more than four points. He was tied 22-22 with 5:34 remaining after a bucket from Littlejohn when Bethany made a run, scoring the next seven points to take a 29-22 lead. The Swedes pushed their lead to 10 to 34-24, and would take a 39-30 lead in the break.
The lead would drop to 14 in the second half, but the Coyotes would push back, reducing the difference to seven over Murdock’s 3-pointers with 12:49 left. The race was orchestrated by Murdock who dominated Bethany 9-2 to bring the score to 60-53.
The Swedes pushed the lead to 11 on several occasions, the last at 9:20 remaining, but the Coyotes got another spark from Murdock on a three-point play and a bucket of Littlejohn took the Coyotes down to six at 68. -62 with 7:31 on the left.
Bethany regained a 10-point lead with five minutes to go, but Littlejohn’s 3 with 1:22 to go reduced the Coyotes to four at 75-71. The Coyotes couldn’t get any closer the rest of the way.
Murdock’s 30 led all scorers and it was the first time he had hit the 30 point mark in a Coyote uniform. It was the first 30-point performance from a KWU played since 2020 when Brendan Ganaway scored 31 against Southwestern.
Littlejohn’s 18 rebounds helped the Coyotes take the board 40-34 advantage. AJ Range (SR / Junction City, Kan.) Added six rebounds.
The Coyotes are back in action Saturday at Bethel before a quick turnaround by hosting Friends next Monday in the last game of the first half of the conference schedule. Tipoff in North Newton is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 p.m. Monday against Friends.