- #7 Ottawa enters the final stretch with a one-game lead for first place with two games remaining. The Braves handled both of their opponents fairly easily this past week, beating both the York Panthers and Sterling Warriors by double figures. The team scored a season-high 119 points in their 29-point victory at Sterling on Saturday, getting 28 points on 11-14 shooting from Andre Jackson. Ottawa can clinch a share of the regular-season KCAC title with a win at home over Kansas Wesleyan on Wednesday.
- #16 Oklahoma Wesleyan cruised by their two opponents this week, using back-to-back strong second halves to defeat Saint Mary and Tabor. The Eagles saw just two players hit double figures in their 15-point win over the Spires, but enjoyed scoring outputs from 12 different members. Against the Bluejays, Oklahoma Wesleyan used a 52-28 second half to pull away from Tabor after leading by just four at the break. The Eagles remain one game behind the Braves for first place and will end their season with two tough battles against Bethel and Kansas Wesleyan.
- Southwestern currently sits all alone in third place after their 2-0 week. After sitting around the 6-7 spot in league play, a key win over Kansas Wesleyan, who they were tied with at the time, followed by a road win at Bethany, now has them as the only other team remaining that can technically clinch a share of the regular season title. The Moundbuilders sit two games back of the Braves with two to play and have won 17 of their last 20 conference games after beginning the KCAC 0-4. Southwestern will host Senior Night on Wednesday against a desperate Saint Mary team before hitting the road to take on arch-rival Friends in the season finale on Saturday.
- Friends is one half game behind Southwestern for third place but is just a half game ahead of three teams behind them and seventh place overall. The Falcons had one of the more impressive wins on the week, stealing a two-point victory on Wednesday on the road at (RV) Bethel. The team suffered a bit of an upset at home on Saturday, despite having Ja Morant in the house, falling to the York Panthers in Wichita. The team has just one game remaining– a home battle with Southwestern on Saturday.
- RV Bethel – The Threshers had a pair of two-point games this week, losing at home to Friends before escaping with a win over Avila, also at home. Bethel continues to boast one of the better defensive teams in the conference and is ranked in the top ten in the NAIA in steals and three-point defense. Jaylon Scott remains the country’s top total rebounder, hauling in 338 boards on the year. The Threshers will have a lot to say about not only their own standing in the KCAC, but with a game against Oklahoma Wesleyan and York remaining will also have a say at the top of the conference as well as who ends up making the conference tournament.
- RV McPherson has now lost four of seven and three of their last five and fell in their only contest of the week, a road defeat against Kansas Wesleyan. The Bulldogs still may be able to reach as high as third in the conference, but will have to pick up wins against an Avila team who is fighting for their postseason berth or against Ottawa, along with getting some help against teams tied or above them. McPherson defeated Ottawa in their first meeting this year and will have the Braves at home on Saturday for Senior Night.
- Kansas Wesleyan bounced back from a road loss at Southwestern on Wednesday to defeat McPherson on Saturday. Both of those games had a lot of implications on the KCAC standings and their remaining games will also be similar. The Coyotes will close with the top two teams in the conference, beginning with Ottawa on Wednesday before hosting Oklahoma Wesleyan in the season finale. The reigning KCAC player of the week, AJ Range, continues to be among the nation’s best in field goal percentage– ranking eighth with a 60.5 percent mark.
- Avila put a nice jolt in their season with a three-game winning streak to answer losing 11 of 12 and finds themselves tied for the final KCAC tournament-qualifying spot with two games to go. The Eagles used a second-half comeback to defeat Bethany at home on Wednesday, but fell in a two-point game at RV Bethel on Saturday to drop into a tie with York. Avila will hit the road to take on McPherson on Wednesday before finishing up with Saint Mary on Saturday in what could be a season-deciding game for both teams.
Currently Out of KCAC Tournament
- York responded to their losing streak with a bit of a shocker, defeating Friends on the road on Saturday to keep their postseason hopes alive. Pairing that with an Avila loss, the Panthers jumped back into a tied-for-eighth position with the Eagles. Both teams split their meetings with each other, setting up a possible tie break scenario. York will face Sterling at home on Wednesday before visiting RV Bethel on Saturday in the regular-season finale.
- Saint Mary remains with a little bit of hope, sitting a game behind both Avila and York with two to play. The Spires continue to slide, now defeated in five straight games following a 15-point home loss to Oklahoma Wesleyan. It will not be easy for Saint Mary if they want to sneak into the playoffs as they face Southwestern on the road before taking on Avila in Kansas City in the final game of the year. The Spires must win both games and receive some help if they wish to get in the KCAC tournament.
- Bethany was officially eliminated from postseason contention on Saturday with their loss versus Southwestern, making it two defeats on the week with one on Wednesday at Avila. The Swedes will close with Tabor and Sterling as they look to finish out the year on a high note.
- Sterling had a pair of big losses on the week, falling by 20 to Tabor and 29 to first-place Ottawa. The Warriors will end the year with a couple of impressive wins on their plate and will look to grab a few more as they end with York and Bethany on the road this week.
- Tabor picked up another win following a 20-point victory over Sterling. The Bluejays then battled tough against #16 Oklahoma Wesleyan, trailing by just four at half– but a big second half from the Eagles led to their defeat. Tabor has just one game remaining as they host Bethany on Wednesday.
KCAC POWER RANKINGS
- (7) Ottawa (-) – Maintains a one-game lead for first place
- (16) Oklahoma Wesleyan (-) – Remains in second place all alone following 2-0 week
- Southwestern (+2) – 17-3 in the last 20 conference games and in third all alone.
- Kansas Wesleyan (-) Split a pair of two highly important games
- Friends (-2) – Picked up big win at RV Bethel, but suffered home loss to York
- (RV) Bethel (+1) – Bounced back from heartbreaking loss to Friends with tough win against Avila
- (RV) McPheron (-1) – Fell to Kansas Wesleyan in only game of week
- York (+1) – Back tied for eighth following big win at Friends
- Avila (-1) – Remains tied for eighth following 1-1 week
- Saint Mary (+1) – Losers of five straight but technically still alive for postseason berth
- Bethany (-1) – Officially eliminated from postseason contention
- Tabor (+1) – 1-1 on week that included 20-point win over Sterling
- Sterling (-1) – Two double-digit losses
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Wednesday, February 19
Kansas Wesleyan at #7 Ottawa
- Ottawa can clinch share of KCAC with win
RV Bethel at #16 Oklahoma Wesleyan
- Two ranked teams meet in Bartlesville
Saturday, February 22
Southwestern at Friends
- Two rivals separated by a half game
Saint Mary at Avila
- Could decide who makes KCAC tournament
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