Kansas Wesleyan won by a big margin against Manhattan Christian, but manager Anthony Monson wasn’t in the mood to celebrate afterwards.
The lack of firepower and allowing Thunder to score 40 points in the second half shone in Coyotes’ 97-68 nonconference win at Mabee Arena on Tuesday night.
“We didn’t have the energy and we weren’t intense,” Monson said. “In the second half we hit the ball very well (65.6%) but still gave up 40 points. I told people that I would never be happy with it and that this would never happen again.”
KWU moved 3-0 for the season, including 13 3-pointers (13 of 28) and shooting 53% (37 of 70) in games that outbounded a Thunder 42-36. MCC scored 40.6% (26 of 64) in the game, but made 44% of the second half (14 of 32).
“When you want to win and play bad, you can learn a lot and it doesn’t cost a lot,” Monson said. “But we can’t do that at night. We will see the movie and it will help us get better and we will understand it.”
Starting forward Alex Littlejohn (SO/Newton, Kan.) finished another great game with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Coyotes have also put a lot of effort into three reserves: Marcel Dean (JR/Tucson, Ariz.), Tyus Jeffries (SR/Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Trey Duffey (JR/Topeka, Kan.).
Dean had a game high of 16, including four in the second half when he scored 13 points, including five 3-pointers. Jeffries scored 13 points and Duffey averaged 9 points and 8 rebounds with a rough effort. He scored 6 points and 7 rebounds in the second half.
“We had to find people who could get the job done and get where we needed to be, and we did it and they did a good job,” Monson said.
Dean was 5 out of 8 on the other side of the lake.
“I see a lot of Stephen Curry.” Dean talks about quick release shots he favors Curry. “My favorite player is Chris Paul, but he has a different role now. Steph Curry is more like a knockdown (shooter).
“My mindset is to be comfortable and shoot the ball. Because that’s what coaches want me to do. I think it’s pretty efficient.”
Dean, a transfer student from Arizona’s Pima Community College, said the team didn’t do their best as a major contributor last season.
“We didn’t have any energy tonight, but I thought we got a little more energy in the second half,” he said. “I got energy in two seconds, but it was sluggish. We will return to the drawing board tomorrow.”
Coyotes took the lead 15-2 in the first half with a 20-8 lead with 13 minutes left, but scored just three in the final 2:55 and advanced 42-28 in the break.
They hit the axel in the last 20 minutes, fueled by around 8 of 12 of 12, and scored 55 points on 21 of 32. 17 coyotes played and 14 scored.
“The crazy part tonight is that we had a great workout (Monday),” Monson said. “We were much more intense and focused a lot more on practice. We said, ‘Guys, it’s not that we’re playing bad, we’re slow and lethargic’. I think it has a lot to do with your disrespect for the game and your disrespect for your opponent. It takes a little more effort to get the job done.’”
KWU is taking an eight-day break ahead of the kickoff of the Kansas Conference with rivals Bethany at Mabee Arena on November 16th. The women’s match starts at 6pm and the men’s game starts around 8pm.