LINDSBORG — It was a night of upsets Saturday at Bethany College’s Hahn Gym.
The Swede women, just 2-13 in the KCAC entering the night, shocked Kansas Wesleyan 58-57, as Alex Brammer scored the Swedes’ final 13 points of the game and finished with 25 overall.
The Swedes dominated the game, as they led by as many as 14 points, but Wesleyan stormed back to eventually take a lead, 48-45, on Vanessa Kresin’s 3-pointer.
Undaunted, the Swedes sticked to their plan and put their fate in the hands of Brammer, who played like an All-American down the stretch. KW took a 54-53 lead with just over a minute left, but Brammer scored five points to give the Swedes only their fifth win of the year against 23 losses. The dagger was her 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 56-54 and she also made two free throws to seal the deal.
Rebecca Kerlikowske scored 10 points for the Swedes. Christian Cassity led the Coyotes with 13 as they fell to 8-8 in the KCAC, 13-14 overall.
"I really thought our defense set the tone tonight,” Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. “We moved some people around to new positions in our zone and it helped our communication and rebounding. Specifically, I thought Kristi Ohlschwager made a huge impact on the game with her talking and active hands. Evin (Sullivan) and Ashley (Carey) gave us great effort on the boards."
Bethany goes for the season sweep of McPherson College on Thursday at the Sport Center in McPherson.
• KANSAS WESLEYAN MEN 91, BETHANY 81 — The Coyotes, the Swedes’ most bitter rival, sent shockwaves throughout the KCAC with perhaps the most stunning upset of the year.
The Swedes saw their hopes for their first conference title in 24 years take a huge hit as lowly Wesleyan had entered the game just 2-13 in the KCAC, 5-20 overall. Bethany fell to 11-5 in the KCAC, as the best it can do is a share of the title. Friends (13-3) and Sterling (12-3) are both ahead of the Swedes.
This figured to be a blowout as the Swedes have run roughshod over teams at home. But KW took the lead early in the second half and Bethany could never get it back as its Senior Night was spoiled and the Coyote fans partied like it was 1999.
“The big turning point in this game was when we got up by 10 points in the first half and then lost our defensive intensity and ended up being tied at the half," a disappointed Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. “We did not consistently defend well and offensively when we got to the rim in the second half we did not finish. This team now needs to regroup, put our nose to the grindstone and pass the toughness test.”
Five Coyotes, led by Jacob Lunz with 14 points, hit for double figures. All-America candidate Idris IbnIdris led the Swedes with 30 and Kirby Hawkins added 19. Bethany clanked 19 of its 23 attempts from 3-point, which is normally its strength.
Bethany will try to avoid a three-game losing streak Thursday when it plays at McPherson College.