HIGH-FLYING START: OKWU Eagle hoopsters romp to 7-1 start

OKWU women's soccer eyes national quarterfinal next week

Oklahoma Wesleyan's Kaleb Stokes, center, powers through the air to the basket and draws the foul during Tuesday night's game against Bethany on Nov. 22, 2022.
Oklahoma Wesleyan's Kaleb Stokes, center, powers through the air to the basket and draws the foul during Tuesday night's game against Bethany on Nov. 22, 2022.

Thirty days into the season the Oklahoma Wesleyan University men's basketball team has displayed plenty of power and pop.

While storming to a 7-1 record, the Eagles tore out to a 3-0 mark in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference -- taking them past the 90-win level in KCAC games (92-22) since Bostwick returned in 2017 to coach the Eagles.

OKWU will finish out November with a road game Monday at Bethel (Kan.) College and open December with a home game Thursday against Friends (Kan.) College.

Growing bigger for OKWU throughout the campaign has been its defensive muscles.

In the first four games, the Eagles allowed an average of 76.5 points per game. In the past four games they've surrendered 59 points per game.

No surprise the Eagles' three-most productive scorers are also the team's most-experienced varsity contributors.

Jaden Lietzke is hitting nearly 70 percent of his field goals while scoring 17.0 ppg, followed by Brandon Bird (13.6 ppg) and Kaleb Stokes (13.5 ppg).

Rounding out the Eagles' top five scorers are Dylan Phillip (8.8 ppg) off the bench and starting point guard Derrick Talton Jr. (6.9 ppg).

Oklahoma Wesleyan's Jaden Lietzke won't be denied under the net during Tuesday night's game against Bethany.
Oklahoma Wesleyan's Jaden Lietzke won't be denied under the net during Tuesday night's game against Bethany.

Austin Poling (5.5 ppg) is nailing almost 53 percent of his shots.

Those six players, plus Aaron Paulukaitis have played in all eight games. Taylen Miller has played in seven games, followed by Amari Woods six six.

Stokes tops the team in rebounds (7.1), followed by Lietzke (6.6) and Bird (5.6).

Talton is handing out an impress 5.6 assists per game and creating 1.9 steals per game.

The Eagles finished 34-3 last season and advanced to the NAIA Elite Eight. Bostwick's gladiators also bolted to a 22-2 record in conference, tying the 2018-19 team for the top mark.

CAREER MILESTONES

Bostwich is in his 10th season overall (2007-11, 2017-present) as the Eagles' each coach.

Earlier this season, Bostwick suffered his first career loss -- as the OKWU head coach -- against Evangel. He is now 6-1 against the school.

Opponents against which Bostwick has had the most success against as the Eagles' head coach are York (Neb.), 17-0; Friends (Kan.), 16-3; McPherson (Kan.), 14-0; Bethel (Kan.), 13-4; Bethany (Kan.), 10-1; Haskell (Kan.), 9-0; Tabor (Kan.), 9-1; Sterling (Kan.), 9-1; and Kansas Wesleyan (9-2).

WOMEN'S SOCCER

Oklahoma Wesleyan University;'s Martina Cordova, right, cuts off a Hastings (Neb.) defender during NAIA regional women's soccer play on Nov. 17, 2022, in Bartlesville. OKWU won, 5-0.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University;'s Martina Cordova, right, cuts off a Hastings (Neb.) defender during NAIA regional women's soccer play on Nov. 17, 2022, in Bartlesville. OKWU won, 5-0.

While the basketball season is still in its early phase, OKWU's women's soccer team is just three wins away from its first national title.

The unbeaten Lady Eagles (22-0-1) are set to play in the NAIA women's soccer Elite Eight on Dec. 1.

The Eagles -- who are coached by Ivan Ristic -- will play at 7 p.m. against Cumberlands at the national championship finale site in Orange Beach, Ala.

This is the furthest Lady Eagle soccer has advanced in the NAIA national tourney. OKWU knocked off Hastings, 5-0, and grinded past Grace, 1-0, to earn an Elite Eight (quarterfinals) berth.

OKWU stormed through its conference schedule (12-0-0) and the conference postseason tourney (3-0-0).

The Lady Eagles are averaging 6.3 goals per game and holding opponents to only one goal every five matches.

More details and a closer look at the Lady Eagle players is planned next week

This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: Oklahoma Wesleyan University men's basketball sizzles