WICHITA — About everything was going the way of the Bethel College women’s basketball team in the second half against the Friends Falcons except the possession arrow with .5 seconds left.
Bethel tied up the ball with a half-second left and a two-point lead, but the ball went to Friends, setting up a Lexi Evans trey at the buzzer for a 60-59 Friends win in a key KCAC clash Saturday at Garvey Gym in Wichita.
The loss sets Bethel back to 11-5, 6-5 in KCAC play. Friends improves to 7-9, 7-4 in KCAC play. Friends takes sole possession of fourth place in the conference while Bethel drops into a tie with Oklahoma Wesleyan for fifth.
“We competed really hard in the second half,” Bethel coacg Drew Johnson said. “We played the game we wanted to play. We kept the game in the 50s. We just needed a couple more breaks to go our way.”
Daija Styles led Friends with 13 points and seven rebounds. Naria Hall added 12 points.
Bethel was led by Abby Schmidt with 15 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out with 3:15 remaining. Jade Brown added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Kayla Newman came off the bench to score 13 points in the first half.
“Kayla really stepped up for us,” Johnson said. “She got some really good minutes for us. She had all her points in the first half, but she played some really good minutes for us in the second half. (Brown and Schmidt) are going to score a lot of points for us. Karlie Schroeder had a really nice game again. She put us ahead late in the game. Jade and Abby have made phenomenal plays all year. They are role models and leaders.”
Neither team shot more than 35 percent. Bethel held a 55-39 rebounding edge and outscored Friends 22-4 from the free throw line. Friends outscored Bethel 18-3 from 3-point range.
“We were especially aggressive in the second quarter,” Johnson said. “We had two free throws in the first quarter and 12 in the second. We didn’t get to the line the way we wanted to in the second half, but we continued to stay aggressive. There were a lot of different players who stepped up. We had a lot of different defenses. Everybody stayed sharp.”
Tied 5-5, Friends ended the first quarter on a 9-4 run. Bethel was just three of 14 shooting in the quarter.
Bethel drew within one to open the second quarter and then gave up a 6-0 run. The Threshers pulled back to within one at the half, 28-27.
Bethel tied the game early in the third quarter. Jade Brown hit a jumper at the third-quarter buzzer to put Bethel ahead 40-38.
The lead was short lived as Hall opened the fourth quarter with a trey for Friends. After trading baskets, Lexi Evans hit a trey with 4:30 left in the game to put the Falcons up by two. Schmidt tied the game about 45 seconds later.
A Brown jumper and a layup off a steal put Bethel up by three with 2:35 in regulation. Karlie Schroeder then drew a charge, setting up one of two Schroeder free throws on the inbounds.
Hall broke the Bethel run with a layup with 1:31 in regulation. Friends missed a layup off a steal with 36.4 seconds left, but got the deadball rebound. Kelly tied the game on a layup with 31.2 seconds left in the quarter.
Schroeder hit a layup with 4.6 seconds to play to give Bethel the lead.
Bethel plays at 6 p.m. at home against McPherson to end the first half of KCAC play. McPherson is 6-11, 2-9 in KCAC play, after a 76-56 loss to Ottawa.
“After a loss like this, there’s nothing better than to play another game,” Johnson said. “There’s no easy ones in the conference. Mac will try to scramble and press. They will try to muck it up a little bit. We’re going to have to be ready to play.”
BETHEL (11-5, 6-5 KCAC) — Karlie Schroeder 1-10 2-4 4, Riley Schmieder 2-5 0-0 4, Abby Schmidt 5-11 5-7 15, Jade Brown 5-16 3-4 13, Alex Bearup 0-4 0-0 0, Kayla Newman 3-4 7-8 13, Kendall Michalski 1-3 5-6 8, Josie Calzonetti 1-5 0-0 2, Alyjah Kennedy 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18-58 22-29 59.
FRIENDS (7-9, 7-4 KCAC) — Daija Styles 6-15 0-2 13, Alex Mulinax 0-7 0-0 0, Lauren Anderson 3-5 2-5 8, Khadijah Kelly 4-20 0-2 8, Tiffany Hurd 0-2 2-2 2, Naria Hall 5-12 0-0 12, Laramie Edens 4-7 0-0 8, Lexi Evans 3-5 0-0 9, Sandra Hodge 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 25-73 4-11 60.
Total fouls — BC 15, Fr. 25. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — BC: Schmidt 3:15-4q. 3-point shooting — BC 1-16 (Schroeder 0-3, Brown 0-4, Bearup 0-4, Michalski 1-3, Calzonetti 0-2), Fr. 6-16 (Styles 1-3, Mulinax 0-1, Anderson 0-1, Kelly 0-1, Hall 2-5, Evans 3-5). Rebounds — BC 55 (Brown 16), Fr. 39 (Styles 7). Assists — BC 10 (Brown 5), Fr. 14 (Styles 4, Kelly 4). Turnovers — BC 24 (Brown 8), Fr. 15 (Evans 4). Blocked shots — BC 3 (Schmidt 2), Fr. 1 (Edens 1). Steals — BC 2 (Schroeder 1, Brown 1), Fr. 12 (Styles 4, Kelly 4).