LINDSBORG — James Brooks chalked it up to the power of positive thinking.
That and resilience was just enough for the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes.
The Coyotes scored the first seven points of the second overtime, led by Brooks and Jordan McNelly, to rally from a 14-point second-half deficit and turn back Bethany, 95-87, Monday night at Hahn Gymnasium.
"Just like last game, we talked about a mentality change," said Brooks, whose 3-pointer with two seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime after the Coyotes had trailed by 14 early in the second period. "It's all in the head and it's all about knowing we can battle our way back no matter what the score.
"It was about five guys together who battled for every rebound."
Brooks scored six of his career-high 38 points in the second overtime and Wesleyan went 13 for 16 from the foul line to close it out. With the victory, the Coyotes' third straight, they improved to 9-7 overall and 7-5 in the Kansas Conference.
"Not even because it's a rivalry game, it's a good win to get some space between us and them," McNelly said of Bethany, which fell to 8-9 and 5-7.
McNelly scored a season-high 21 points, making all four of his free throws in the second overtime and 13 of 16 for the game. He also grabbed a season-best 13 rebounds.
"I tried to go to the free-throw line with a confident head and they fell for me tonight," McNelly said. "And coach has been hounding me to crash the glass hard.
"I got some big boards tonight."
The Coyotes still trailed 69-57 when Reed Stephens hit a 3-pointer for Bethany with 3:20 left, but Wesleyan chipped away down the stretch with the help of three Brooks 3-pointers. After Tyler Larkin missed the second of two free throws for Bethany with 12.9 seconds to go, Wesleyan had a final chance and Brooks cashed in.
"That's the greatest shot of my life for sure," he said after launching from the top of the circle with the clock winding down to tie it at 74. "I was feeling it, and whenever we bright the ball down it was my mentality to take it and see what my capabilities could do."
The Coyotes missed their first three shots and turned the ball over twice to start the first overtime as baskets by Mookie Duncan and Larkin gave Bethany a 78-74 advantage. But Marquis Kraemer converted a layup and McNelly hit two free throws with 14.3 second left to tie it at 78-all.
A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Bethany's Jovan Elezovic was off the mark, forcing the second extra period.
Wesleyan got free-throw line jumpers from Brooks and Darius Hammond to grab a quick lead in the second overtime, and two Nate Leach free throws with 1:20 to go stretched it to 85-78. The Coyotes scored their last 13 points from the line.
"It was an amazing game by two teams that battled all night long," Wesleyan coach Anthony Monson said.
In addition to Brooks and McNelly, Wesleyan got 10 points from Kraemer and nine from Leach, who helped spark the second-half comeback. Duncan and Larkin had 25 each for Bethany.
"We started fouling and putting them on the line," Bethany coach Dan O'Dowd said of Wesleyan's comeback. "We had a 14-point lead and started fouling and putting them on the line with the clock stopped.
"(Brooks) is a good player. He hit three 3s at the end of regulation and those were a backbreaker for us."
Reed Stephens' 3-pointer in the closing seconds gave Bethany a 38-26 halftime lead. The basket capped a 13-4 run by the Swedes to end the period.