Kansas Wesleyan University, ranked No. 6 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, used a strong second half to rally for a 76-62 women’s basketball win over Concordia on Saturday. The win kept Kansas Wesleyan undefeated on the season at 15-0. Concordia dropped to 8-6 on the year with the loss.
The host Coyotes jumped on the Bulldogs early in the first half and built a lead as large as 14 (22-8) with just over 11 minutes remaining in the half. Concordia rallied, however, and a Lori Laboda (Parker, Colo.) basket with 31 seconds left in the half gave the Bulldogs a 36-35 halftime advantage.
KWU reclaimed the lead at 37-36 on the first possession of the second half. Concordia took a 43-42 lead on a basket by Kristen Conahan (Omaha, Neb.), but that would be the last lead of the game for the Bulldogs. The Coyotes slowly pulled away and led by double figures for the final five minutes of the contest. Concordia struggled from the field in the second half, hitting just 9-of-31 shots for 29 percent.
Much like the first meeting between the teams earlier this season, turnovers proved costly for Concordia in the loss. The Bulldogs finished with 26 turnovers, and the Coyotes converted those turnovers into 27 points. KWU also held a 26-16 advantage in points in the paint.
For the game, Kansas Wesleyan was 27-of-57 from the field for 47.4 percent. The Coyotes were 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) from long range and 16-of-28 (57.1 percent) from the foul line.
Five players scored in double figures for KWU in the win. Stephanie Frost and LaCole Wilkinson each scored 13. Katie Novack scored 12 off the bench, and Shelby Babcock added 11. Danielle Eknow had 10 points and eight boards, while Montric Santee had eight points and a game-high six assists for the Coyotes.
Concordia was just 21-of-58 from the field for 36.2 percent. The Bulldogs were 9-of-25 (36 percent) in 3-pointers and 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) from the charity stripe.
Conahan scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting to lead the way for Concordia. Myhiah Dotzler (Omaha, Neb.) added 11 points, while Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) had a double-double of 11 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Concordia travels to Northwestern College on January 3. Tip is scheduled for 6 pm in Orange City, Iowa. The Red Raiders are 14-1 overall and a perfect 5-0 in GPAC play so far this season. Concordia is currently 2-3 in conference play.