Men’s Basketball at Avila on Thursday, hosts (7) Oklahoma Wesleyan Saturday


Kansas Wesleyan resumes Kansas Conference play with two games this week. The Coyotes play Avila at 8 p.m. Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. and return home Saturday for a game against Oklahoma Wesleyan at 7 p.m. inside Mabee Arena. The Avila game will be the Coyotes’ first official road game of the season after starting the season with six in Mabee Arena.

The games will be available online through the Coyote Sports Network at Live Stats will be available at Radio coverage will be on FM-104.9 in the Salina area and around the world at Jackson Schneider will have the call with pregame starting at around 7:45 p.m. Thursday and 6:45 p.m. Saturday.



Kansas Wesleyan 6-0, 3-0 KCAC

Avila 2-7, 1-3 KCAC

Oklahoma Wesleyan 8-1, 4-0 KCAC (vs. Friends Thursday in Bartlesville, Okla.)



The Coyotes have won three of the last four against Avila and are 8-3 since November, 2005. They split last season with Avila winning 64-63 in overtime in Kansas City on December 13 and KWU 85-57 February 9 in Mabee Arena.

Oklahoma Wesleyan has won seven in a row and 11 of the last 12 against the Coyotes. The Eagles won four times last season – 86-69 November 23 in Bartlesville, Okla.; 85-56 January 19 in Mabee Arena; 67-58 February 26 in the Kansas Conference Tournament semifinals in Bartlesville; and 67-54 March 12 in the second round of the NAIA national tournament in Hartman Arena in Park City.



The Coyotes rolled through the pre-Thanksgiving portion of their schedule. They defeated Friends 82-78 in their last contest before the holiday on November 22 in Mabee Arena. KWU lost exhibition games against Colorado School of Mines and Colorado Christian on Friday and Saturday in Colorado but they aren’t factored in their record. Jun Murdock (JR/Wichita, Kan.) led the way against Friends with 26 points, six rebounds and four assists against Friends while Easton Hunter (JR/Colwich, Kan.) had 16 points, all in the second half as the Coyotes rallied from a 40-35 halftime deficit. KWU was without Alex Littlejohn (SO/Newton, Kan.), the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, who was battling an illness.

Murdock leads the team in scoring (13.8) with Littlejohn (9.4) and Hunter (8.0) next. KWU is shooting 45.5 percent overall, 33 percent from 3-point range. Littlejohn averages 9.0 rebounds and Thurbil Bile (JR/Centennial, Colo.) 6.7 along with 2.2 blocks. The Coyotes are outrebounding their opponents by 7.2 per game.



The Eagles defeated Friends 79-74 in overtime Monday. The victory ended a seven-game losing streak after a season-opening victory over Missouri Valley. Guard Tremaine Banks led Avila on Monday with 30 points on 11 of 18 shooting including 4 of 10 from deep.

Avila averages 60.4 points and shoots 35.6 percent as a team, 27.6 percent from beyond the arc. Opponents average nearly 83 points and have a plus-8 rebounding edge. Avila averages just over 16 turnovers.

Banks is the leading scorer at 12.3 points per game but is the only Eagle in double figures. Jaylin Dinkins is next at 8.4 points. DJ Pitia averages a team-best 5.6 rebounds.



The Eagles have won four in a row since losing to future KCAC-member Evangel 73-68 November 7 in Springfield, Mo. OKWU defeated Bethel 63-54 Monday in North Newton as Austin Polling and Kaleb Stokes scored 11 each. The Eagles have downed Southwestern, McPherson, Bethany and Bethel during their streak.

OKWU averages 76.7 points, allows 67, shoots 46.8 percent as a team (28.5 percent from deep) and outrebounds opponents by 10 per contest.

All five starters return from last year’s team that went 21-3, 19-2 in the KCAC, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NAIA national tournament. Jaden Lietzke leads the team in scoring (16.1) followed by Stokes (13.2) and Brandon Bird (13.1). Stokes (6.9) and Lietzke (6.4) are the top rebounders.

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