McPherson College’s men’s basketball game with Newman University Saturday didn’t count on the Bulldogs’ record, just like it had never happened.
But it happened, all right. And the Bulldogs were close to pulling off one of their biggest wins in school history, only to see it end in a losing, controversial fashion.
NCAA Division II member Newman appeared to be in dire straits against the NAIA Bulldogs in what was classified as an exhibition game for Mac. The Jets were down 87-84 when their star plyer Keaton Schultz casted off a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in overtime, only to be fouled by Aaron Jackson.
Schultz not only made the three free throws to tie the game, but Jackson was called for a technical foul, and Schultz tacked on the two free throws to give the Jets a numbing 89-87 victory.
McPherson College coach Tim Swartzendruber was obviously displeased, but refused to comment on the final sequence, instead praising his team for its performance.
“We played with a lot of poise and toughness,” Swartzendruber said. “When we got down in the second half, we never gave up, fought back and gave ourselves a chance to win the game. We beat Newman on the boards and considering we gave up 3-6 inches per man, I was really pleased. Our free throw shooting was outstanding. Certainly I feel our last two games we have come together as a team and now are looking forward to the 2011 portion of our season.”
The teams had battled to a 79-all tie in regulation, and the Bulldogs then grabbed the early momentum in overtime, as Aaron Frazier scored the first five points of the extra session. But the Jets answered with a 5-0 run.
The Bulldogs’ Trent Severs scored on a floater with 27 seconds left to give Mac an 86-84 lead and Newman’s Chip Steven missed on the other end with 10 seconds left, with D’onte Woods grabbing the rebound for Mac. The ball wound up in the hands of Jackson, who was fouled and made the second of two foul shots for an 87-84 lead with eight seconds left. But then he fouled Schultz on his three, setting up the bizarre ending.
The Bulldogs had trailed by as many as five in the first half, 27-22, but finished on a 20-8 run to lead 42-33. Mac even led by as many as 10 in the second half, 47-37, but the Jets stormed back with a 18-7 sizz to regain the lead.
The Jets would go up as much as seven, 68-61, but then it was Mac’s turn to make a run, finally tying the game at 79-all with 16 seconds left on a pair of Mason Hewitt free throws.
Eric Saunders missed for the Jets wth 10 seconds left and the Bulldogs had a chance to win, but Frazier’s 3-pointer was off. Mac did get one more chance at the buzzer, but Samson Shivers could not convert.
Frazier had a spectacular game for Mac off the bench with 26 points and six rebounds, while Hewitt had 17 points and six rebounds and Jackson scored 16. The Bulldogs, who have struggled from the foul line, were a sizzling 24 of 29, which kept them in the game.
Schultz finished with 25 points for the Jets, while William Burdett, Tyler Nordman and former Wichita State Shocker Mason Felter all had 11, and Steven scored 10.
Mac will take a 7-7 into action Jan. 3 when it plays at York before hosting Southwestern on Jan. 6 in the first KCAC action of 2011.
Mac (87) -- Woods 6, Jackson 16, Shivers 7, Bruner 6, Frazier 26, Severs 2, Powers 7, Hewitt 17.
Newman (89) -- Burdette 11, Berry 5, Schultz 25, Steven 10, Grant 5, Barnwell 2, Nordman 11, Brumbelow 9, Felter 11.