Pair of tough losses for Mac cagers

By Steve Sell
January 04, 2018

SALINA — It was a night of heartbreak for McPherson College’s basketball teams on Wednesday against Kansas Wesleyan as both had great chances to win, only to lose.

In the men’s game, the Bulldogs once again appeared to be in line for their first KCAC win of the year, leading by 17 points midway through the second half.

But Mac went unbelievably cold over the final 11 minutes as the Coyotes held it to just four points to rally for a 65-55 victory.

Mac is now 0-9 in the KCAC and has let several good-sized second-half leads get away as it’s still trying to figure out how to close out games.

The Bulldogs were up 35-26 at the half and extended the lead to 45-28 early in the second half. But the Bulldogs scored just 10 points the rest of the way, giving up 37.

Three-point shooting had sparked Mac to its lead, making 7 of 9 in the first half, but it all unraveled late.

Grant Raleigh and Stefan Krsmanovic topped the Bulldogs with 10 points apiece as their two-game winning streak was snapped, dropping them to 3-14 on the year overall. The Bulldogs finished the game 9 of 20 from 3-point after their hot start and visited the foul line only 5 times, making just 2.

Jamon Fulton, who has been a Bulldog killer for two years now, scored 17 of his 22 points after intermission to lead the Coyotes.

“It's hard to know what to say," Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said. "We struggle at times with our mental toughness. We had the lead and were playing well. However, when the shots stopped falling, we also quit defending. Give KWU credit. They never gave up."

Mac is home on Saturday to take on Bethel.

Mac (55) — Raleigh 10, Watts 8, Bachura 6, Owen 5, Munsen 4, Krsmanovic 10, Ellison 6, Parker III 4, Oxford 2.

KW (65) — Fulton 22, Neri 8, Gandy 7, Carter 7, Kraemer 7, Rammelt 4, Range 4, Leach 2, Hammond 2, Cross 2.

• KW WOMEN 90, MAC 88, OT — The Mac women have had enough of Mabee Arena for one year.

The Bulldogs, who lost two games here last seek in the KW Classic, fell to the homestanding Coyotes, but not before making a school-record 14 3-pointers and missing out on numerous chances to win.

The Bulldogs did show a lot of grit in regulation, coming back from a 76-68 deficit in the fourth quarter to get the game into overtime.

Mac wasted several good performances. Brooklyn Coe scored 22  points to lead the way, while Cami Richarson scored 16, Brooke Racette had 15 off the bench, Brittany Roberts had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Emma VanDonselaar added 11 points.

Courtney Heinen led KW with 20 points. With the victory, KW coach Ryan Showman won his 100th game for the Coyotes since taking over for Mac coach Gordon Reimer, who had been at KW before he assumed the Bulldogs’ position.

Mac is now 5-4 in the KCAC and 9-7 overall as it has lost three straight. The Bulldogs host Bethel on Saturday and the Threshers are coming off their first KCAC win of the year on Wednesday against York.

Mac (88) — Coe 22, Richardson 16, Roberts 13, VanDonselaar 11, Racette 15, Olvera 6, Abunaja 3, Zimmerman 2.

KW (90) — Mortensen 10, M. Miller 9, G. Miller 8, Bradford 6, Vallin 6, Hein 20, Lewis 15, Knox 7, Frazier 7, Hill 2.