WINFIELD, Kan. – Late-game shooting woes cost the Southwestern College men's basketball team a shot at its third-straight win Wednesday evening. The Moundbuilders fell to the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan, 75-71, inside historic Stewart Field House.
Sophomore Cameron Hunt led Southwestern (15-8, 8-7 KCAC) with 24 points. The Duncanville, Texas, native went 8-for-15 from the floor, and was an unblemished 6-for-6 at the free throw line while adding five rebounds and four assists. Junior DJ Wallace added 16 points and six rebounds, while Alan Hodge scored 10 points.
Kansas Wesleyan (9-12, 5-9 KCAC) guard Ryan Hill led all scorers with 26 points.
Southwestern shot 45.8 percent (27-59) from the floor, and 23.8 percent (5-21) from three-point range. The Moundbuilders converted 66.7 percent (12-18) of their free throws, but were out-rebounded by the Coyotes, 32-31.
Southwestern controlled the opening half from the start. A Hunt bucket, followed by Brent Smith's old-fashioned three-point play helped the Moundbuilders to a 5-0 lead less than a minute into the contest. KWU answered with its own old-fashioned triple a minute later to cut the lead to 5-3. The two teams continued to exchange jabs over the next five minutes, but Southwestern never relinquished the lead. Holding a 13-12 lead at the 12:33 mark, DJ Wallace drained a jumper that sparked a 13-2 Moundbuilder run over the next four minutes. Back-to-back Wallace buckets gave Southwestern a 26-14 lead with 8:16 remaining in the opening half. Hunt gave the Builders their first 15-point advantage with a jumper at the 4:11 mark, and when the opening half came to a close, Southwestern found itself with a 44-29 halftime lead.
Kansas Wesleyan scored the first five points of the second half, only to watch a Wallace bucket set an 11-0 run into motion. Hunt drained a triple to cap the run, and gave the Moundbuilders a 55-34 edge with 15:10 still to play. It appeared the Southwestern would cruise to victory at that point, but the Coyotes had other ideas. KWU out-scored the Builders, 21-10, over the next 10 minutes of play, and made things interesting down the stretch. The 'Yotes then drained back-to-back-to-back triples over the course of two minutes to pull within four points, 68-64, with 3:38 left in regulation. Those triples marked the start of a 13-0 run that helped KWU tie the game at 68-68 with 2:32 to play. Greg McCoy drained a free throw to give Southwestern a brief lead at 69-68 with 2:14 remaining, but the Coyotes kept rolling. Kansas Wesleyan closed the game on a 7-2 run, and left Stewart Field House as winners for the first time since 2009 by the 75-71 final score.
Wednesday's loss drops Southwestern to 15-8 on the season, and 8-7 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play. The Moundbuilders will return to action Saturday, traveling to Bartlesville, Okla., to face the Eagles of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. inside the Mueller Sports Center.