Down by five in the fourth quarter, the Bethel College women’s basketball team held Bethany scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes, taking a six-point lead and holding on for a 52-46 win Saturday in KCAC play at Thresher Gym.

Bethel wins its first conference game under first-year coach Adam Esses and snaps an 18-game conference losing streak dating back to last season.

Bethel also avenges a 79-68 loss to the Swedes earlier this year.

“We did a great job defensively tonight,” Esses said. “We did exactly what we needed to do. We didn’t always play great offense tonight. It means a lot. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve worked very hard. I’m very proud of the young ladies. They really pulled together as a team.”

Bethel finishes the week 2-1, beating Central Christian Monday and falling to Southwestern on the road.

“At Southwestern, we played very good defensively,” Esses said. “That’s a very tough place to play offensively. That gym is a hard place to play at. We picked it up defensively there. We just didn’t make enough plays offensively.”

Bethel was led by Karlie Schroeder with 14 points.

“We’ve been starting to play together,” a sophomore from Buda, Texas. “We’re playing better now and we’re ready to go.”

Bethany was led by post Kimi Lindsheid with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Tehya Peters added 12 points.

“(Lindsheid) is so big that it’s hard to match up,” Schroeder said. “We tried going inside against her. You just have to keep doing it, even when they don’t call fouls.”

Leading 8-4 early, Bethel gave up an 11-4 run to end the first quarter, aided by Thresher turnovers.

The Threshers trailed by as many as five early in the second quarter. A Michelle Schrag jumper with 4:12 left in the quarter put Bethel back in the lead, 22-21. A Brittany Carter shot with 30 seconds left in the period put the Threshers up by one at the half, 26-25.

Both teams struggled with turnovers in the first half. Bethany had 14 to Bethel’s 11.

Bethel continued to struggle with shooting and turnovers in the third quarter. Fouls went 6-2 against the Threshers at one point, putting the Swedes in the two-shot bonus. Tied 31-31, Bethany scored the next three points.

Schrag tied the game on a putback with with 45 seconds remaining in the period. Bethel missed a pair of free throws with 12.3 seconds left in the period, keeping the game tied 34-34.

Bethany led by five early in the fourth quarter. A Schroeder trey tied the game back up with 7:08 in regulation.

“I don’t know what it is, but I could feel it as soon as it left my hands,” Schroeder said. “I knew it was going in.”

After a turnover, Ciarra McKinney put in a short bunny shot to put Bethel in the lead. A JDaijon Sumpter jumper with 4:32 remaining put Bethel up by six. Bethel missed several chances to increase its advantage.

Lindsheid broke a 5:27 Bethany scoring drought with a three-point play with 56.2 seconds left in regulation.

McKinney missed two free throws with 34.6 seconds left in regulation. Bethany missed a 3-point attempt, rebounded by Fantasia Johnson. Schunn hit one of two free throws with 20.5 seconds left. Schroeder stole the inbounds pass, was fouled and hit one of two free throws. Schroeder hit one of two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to seal the win.

“I missed a couple, but I’m going to continue to practice them,” Schroeder said. “I made enough tonight.”

Bethel is 3-20, 1-17 in KCAC play, and plays Thursday at Kansas Wesleyan, which is 16-10 overall, 10-7 in the KCAC. The Coyotes have won three of the last four.

“They are down a scorer,” Esses said. “Jenna Farris is out. I don’t know what here status is. I hope our defensive intensity can spill over. I hope we can pick it up on offense.”

 BETHANY (7-17, 5-12 KCAC) — Miller 1-6 2-4 5, Favors 0-4 0-0 0, Lindshield 4-6 6-6 14, Meinke 0-3 0-0 0, Ashida 1-9 0-0 2, Burdick 3-8 1-2 7, Wong 0-5 0-0 0, Peters 5-13 1-2 12, Scudder 1-2 0-0 2, Ahaneku 2-5 0-2 4. TOTALS 17-61 10-16 46.

BETHEL (3-20, 1-17 KCAC) — Carter 1-3 0-0 2, Schunn 4-9 1-4 9, McKinney 3-6 0-2 6, Gerlach 3-7 0-0 6, Sumpter 2-4 1-2 5, Schroeder 3-12 6-12 14, Schmieder 1-2 0-0 2, Pineda 0-2 2-2 2, Kennedy 0-0 0-0 0, Schrag 3-4 0-1 6, Johnson 0-7 0-0 0. TOTALS 20-56 10-23 52.

Bethany;15;10;9;12;—46

Bethel;12;14;8;17;—51

Total fouls — Bethany 19, Bethel 16. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — Bethany: Miller :13.0-4q. 3-point shooting — Bethany 2-21 (Miller 1-3, Favors 0-2, Ashida 0-7, Burdick 0-2, Wong 0-4, Peters 1-2, Scudder 0-1), Bethel 2-4 (Schroeder 2-4). Rebounds — Bethany 48 (Lindshield 13), Bethel 42 (Schroeder 8). Assists — Bethany 8 (Meinke 2), Bethel 10 (Johnson 4). Turnovers — Bethany 22 (Peters 4), Bethel 20 (Schroeder 5). Blocked shots — Bethany 2 (Ahaneku 2), Bethel 2 (Carter 1, McKinney 1). Steals — Bethany 8 (Peters 3), Bethel 11 (Schroeder 3).