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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Swedes outlast Mac College 74-67

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  • LINDSBORG — Five points seems like nothing in a basketball game, but for McPherson College Thursday night, it proved to be an insurmountable obstacle, as the Bulldogs fell to Bethany 74-67 to open KCAC play. The Swedes blitzed McPherson (5-5, 0-1 KCAC) to open the contest, roaring out to a 9-2 lead early and never relinquished control the rest of the game, heading into the locker room at half with a 44-31 advantage. It was more of the same in the second half, as McPherson would find itself down by double digits, but put together a run that seemed to almost always stall out when they were down by five, before Bethany would find a clutch three pointer and extend the lead once more. “We had some guys step up, some guys who we thought were going to be good additions to this team, but haven’t done it quite yet,” Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. Bethany (5-3, 1-0 KCAC) ended up shooting 39.7 percent from the field for the game and 42.1 percent from distance. McPherson shot 39 percent on their field goals and were glacial from the three point arc, making only two of their 14 attempts. Bethany won the turnover battle, as the Bulldogs coughed up the ball 23 times, compared to 15 for the Swedes. Bethany turned those turnovers into 22 points. “We dug ourselves a hole in the first half with a lot of silly turnovers,” McPherson coach Tim Swartzendruber said. “And you have got to give Bethany credit. They are playing really hard this year.” Bethany’s Ray Purtle led all scorers with 22 points. Other Swedes in double digits included Trey Beachum and Dwight Abad, who both notched 14 points, and Jason Mihalcin, who had 13 points. For McPherson, Brian Johnson was the leading scorer with 13 points, while Mason Hewitt recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Devirous Johnson rounded out the Bulldog double digit scoring with 10 points. KCAC play continues Saturday, as the Swedes host Bethel and McPherson will face Tabor at the McPherson Sport Center. Both games tip off Saturday at 7 p.m. McPherson — Lee 1-6 2-2 4; Johnson, B. 6-10 1-5 13; Roop 1-2 0-0 3; Johnson, D. 3-5 4-4 10; Powers 1-4 0-0 3; Shivers 0-8 2-6 2; Reinhardt 3-4 3-3 9; Miller 4-8 4-6 5; Hewitt 4-8 4-6 12; Hill 3-6 0-4 6. Bethany — Abad 4-9 3-4 14; Beachum 3-12 8-14 14; Purtle 7-14 5-6 22; Childress 2-8 0-0 5; Nelson 2-4 0-2 5; Heald 0-1 1-2 1; Mihalcin 5-6 3-5 13.
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