- #7 Ottawa remains in first place in the conference despite a 20-point home loss on Wednesday to Avila. The Braves answered on the road in Hillsboro, their first regular season victory at Tabor since 2009. Five different Braves players scored in double figures in the win as Ottawa continues to maintain a one-game lead with just four games left to go in the regular season.
- #16 Oklahoma Wesleyan again caught Ottawa mid-week for first place, but fell on the road on Saturday in overtime at Friends. The Eagles began the week with a big 39-point win at home over McPherson, creating a little bit of separation between the two teams as they both are chasing Ottawa for first. Lense Ramey banked in a three with seconds remaining against the Falcons on Saturday, but Friends used a late run in the overtime session to knock off the No. 16 ranked Eagles and move them back to second place. Oklahoma Wesleyan sits in lone possession of second place, but just a half game up on both McPherson and Friends.
- RV McPherson entered the week receiving votes in the NAIA coaches poll for the first time this year, but did not show up to that standard on Wednesday, suffering a 39-point defeat at Oklahoma Wesleyan. The Bulldogs responded in the best possible way, erasing a double-digit deficit on home on Saturday to come back and defeat RV Bethel. The win over Bethel was critical, evening both teams at seven losses with McPherson sitting a half game above. Dorian Paige and Lual Magot scored 23 and 22 points respectively to lead the Bulldogs over the Threshers.
- Friends had an impressive week as the only team in the top four currently to have a perfect 2-0 record over the last seven days. The Falcons swept a pair of home games, first defeating the Saint Mary Spires by 19 before the overtime thriller against Oklahoma Wesleyan. The Falcons continue to consistent production from their senior leader James Conley, who average 22.5ppg this past week. Two of the final three games for Friends will be played at home.
- Southwestern continued to improve their KCAC standing this week, going 2-0. It was not without a couple of scares as they needed to erase double-digit second half deficits in doing so. First against the Tabor Bluejays, the Builders came back from 14 down in the second half, eventually winning by four points from inside Stewart Field House. On Saturday, the Builders endured a 67% first-half shooting mark from York, seeing the Panthers lead in the second-half grow to as big as 17. Southwestern stormed back to eventually tie the game and send it in overtime before Noah Webster and Andrew Hamm took over in overtime No. 2. The two combined for all 14 points in the frame and 68 on the game as the Moundbuilders defeated the Panthers in an instant classic. Hamm went for a career-high 40 points in the contest.
- RV Bethel took care of business on the road on Wednesday, defeating a tough home team in Bethany. The Threshers came out of the gates firing on all cylinders on Saturday in McPherson, but a strong second-half charge by the Bulldogs was enough to break Bethel’s three-game winning streak. Three of the team’s final four games will take place at home, with their lone road game a visit to Oklahoma Wesleyan. Sophomore Jaylon Scott currently ranks first in the NAIA in total rebounds and rebounds per game and is also eighth in steals.
- Kansas Wesleyan continues to stay hot, now winners of seven of eight after a 2-0 week that included victories over teams fighting for the postseason lives in York and Saint Mary. The Coyotes used a strong second half on Wednesday and had four players in double figures in their 83-70 victory over the York Panthers at home. KWU followed that performance up with another home win over Saint Mary, getting 25 points from AJ Range to close out the game strong and escape with the seven-point victory. The Coyotes will have to earn their spot in the upcoming KCAC tournament, with three of their final four games coming against ranked squads.
- Avila may have had the most impressive week of any team in the KCAC. Having lost 11 of 12, the Eagles were slowly watching their postseason chances slip away. That was until a 20-point upset of No. 7 Ottawa on the road on Wednesday, followed by a home win over Sterling. The team’s leading scorer Shandon Boone continues to make his mark on the league, averaging 25ppg during the two contests this week. Pairing that with the two York losses, the Eagles made up the two-game deficit for eighth place in just this last week. Despite technically sitting in ninth place, Avila will have two of their remaining games against teams below them in the standings– setting up winnable games to try and make a push to make the postseason.
Currently Out of The KCAC Tournament
- York sits tied for the eighth and final KCAC tournament qualifying spot despite an 0-2 week that saw tough losses against teams sitting just in front of them in the standings. The Panthers are deadlocked with Avila at 8-12 in league play, splitting both meetings with the Eagles earlier this year. Three of the team’s final four games will be on the road, with all three of those road contests coming against teams above them in the standings.
- Saint Mary is the third team that is not out of the hunt just yet, sitting a half game behind Avila and York for the eighth and final tournament spot. Like Avila, the Spires had the opportunity to make up some ground on York, but also lost a pair of games this week– both coming on the road. Since their big victory over Avila, Saint Mary has now lost four straight as they now are on the outside looking in. The Spires have just one home game remaining, before ending the year at Southwestern and at Avila.
- Bethany played spoiler a bit this week, grabbing a 20-point win at Saint Mary to knock them out of eighth place for the time being. The Swedes still remain a dangerous opponent as they are led by one of the conference’s leading scorers in Justin Jones. As of now, Bethany has not been eliminated from postseason contention as they sit two games behind eighth place. With four games remaining, the Swedes will have a chance to make up ground, visiting Avila on Wednesday before their last week poses a pair of games to the two teams below them in the league.
- Sterling had just one game this week, which was a road loss against an Avila team that seems to have found its stride. The Warriors already have wins against contending teams this year and still have the opportunity to shake up the KCAC standings in their final games as they face two teams in Bethany and York who are fighting for a tournament bid.
- Tabor continues to play much improved basketball, fighting with Southwestern and Ottawa to the very end in their two games this past week. The Bluejays possess perhaps one of the most explosive players in the country in Tyler Zinn, who was named the KCAC Player of the Week a week ago. The senior guard dropped 26 in the team’s near road win at Southwestern, but was held to just five points against first-place Ottawa on Saturday.
KCAC POWER RANKINGS
- (7) Ottawa (-) – Maintains a one-game lead for first place
- (16) Oklahoma Wesleyan (-) – Remains in second place all alone
- Friends (+2) – Only team in top 4 to go 2-0 last week
- Kansas Wesleyan (+3) – 2-0 week and winners of seven of last eight
- Southwestern (+1) – 2-0 week, now 13-3 in KCAC since starting 0-4
- (RV) McPherson (-2) – Suffered 39-point loss to OKWU, but bounced back with win over Bethel
- (RV) Bethel (-4) – Big win over Bethany, but blew double-digit lead at McPherson
- Avila (+4) – 2-0 week and now tied for 8th place
- York (-1) – Lost two games and no longer in sole possession of final tournament spot
- Bethany (-) – Remains in contention for postseason following 1-1 week with win over Saint Mary
- Saint Mary (-2) – Losers of four straight
- Sterling (-) – Lost lone game of the week at Avila
- Tabor (-) – Nearly upset Southwestern, competitive vs. Ottawa
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Wednesday, February 12
Kansas Wesleyan at Southwestern
- Two of the hottest teams in KCAC, tied with identical league records at 13-7
Friends at RV Bethel
- Friends holds a half game lead over Bethel for a top four spot in the KCAC
Saturday, February 15
RV McPherson at Kansas Wesleyan
- Two teams with seven losses battling for conference positioning