SALINA—The Swedes women's basketball team picked up another upset on Saturday, this time over rivals, No. 18 Kansas Wesleyan. Bethany defeated the Coyotes 77-67 on the road in the First Bank Kansas Smoky Hill Showdown.
Bethany started this one off with a quick four points in the first minute of the game. A Coyote three-pointer brought KWU back within one before they were able to grab the lead and keep that lead for the remainder of the first quarter. While Bethany was able to stay with the Coyotes at first, a 12-1 lead over the last three minutes by KWU gave them a 15-point advantage at the end of the first quarter of play.
The second quarter was a back and forth battle with each team trying to really get a footing in the contest. The Swedes were attempting to bring KWU back within range, while the Coyotes were trying pull firmly away. However after 10 minutes of jostling for momentum, neither team was able to nab it. Bethany went into the break tailing by 12 points.
Bethany was about to outscore the Coyotes by 10 points in the third quarter to cut the KWU lead to just two points. This did not come all at once but slowly and steadily over the entire 10 minutes of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, things started to swing in the Swedes' favor in a big way. After a little back and forth play by the teams, Bethany went on an 11-0 run over four minutes to snag their first double-digit lead in the game. From there, Bethany was able to hold off the Coyote attack and maintain their healthy lead through the rest of the game.
The Details . . .
Three Swedes finished with double-digit points with Kelsi Mueller, junior guard, leading the way with 25 of her own. She was followed by Sena Aktas, junior guard, who notched 13 points and a team high of 12 rebounds, and Sarah Bartel, senior guard, with 10. Halei Wortham, sophomore guard, helped out with 10 boards.
As a team, the Swedes pulled down 57 boards compared to the Coyotes' 43 total rebounds. Bethany shot 30.1 percent from the field and 31 percent from long range.
Up Next . . .
Bethany will await the bracket for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championships from the conference office. They will play in the quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 5 p.m.