The McPherson College women stood toe-to-toe with a Southwestern team picked by many to win the KCAC this season, but ultimately came up short 89-80 Thursday night at the McPherson Sport Center.
The Bulldogs kept it interesting in the opening minutes of the first half, taking a slight four point lead in the first four minutes, but a 19-4 run by the Moundbuilders put them up by ten, where the lead seemed to stall out for Southwestern, as they took a 40-30 lead into the half.
When play resumed, the Builders built up an 17 point advantage less than two minutes into the contest. McPherson wouldn’t stay down, however, as they cut the lead to seven before Southwestern would extend the lead back out to 18 points with around two minutes remaining in the game.
Frustration began to become evident on the Bulldog bench, as coach Cy Rolfs was whistled for technical foul. McPherson calmed down, however, in the final two minutes of play and drained four straight three pointers to cut the score down to 89-80 as the final buzzer sounded.
Rolfs was proud of his team’s ‘never say die’ attitude down the stretch.
“Just a matter of playing 40 minutes of basketball against good teams like Southwestern,” Rolfs said. “As efficient as that offense is, it makes it even tougher to comeback on them. The fact that we fought like we did was a good time.”
McPherson shot 30-of-67 on the game, going 9-of-19 from three-point distance. They went 11-of-16 from the foul line in the loss.
Kaylee Cramer led five Bulldogs in double digits wit 14 points. Ali Brewster, Madison Chambers and Tayler Puttergill all had 12 for McPherson, while Cheyenne Eisenhour had 11 before fouling out with 20 seconds left in the game. Every Bulldog that saw floor time Thursday scored.
“As a group, I really liked how they rallied together,” Rolfs said of the team effort. “We were a little passive early on, but everyone got more aggressive in the second half.”
Southwestern’s Jana Reichenberger had 16 points to lead all players. Trinicia Shaffer had 13 for the Moundbuilders, while Sheri Zoglmann added 12, Zefiryn Bryan had 11 and Jessica Hobbs had 10.
The Bulldogs (13-10, 7-6 KCAC) are back in action tomorrow, as they make the long trek to Leavenworth to face the University of Saint Mary. Tip off is slated for 3 p.m.
Southwestern (89) — Bryan 3-9 5-7 11; Reichenberger 7-11 2-3 16; Shaffer 5-7 2-3 13; Robinson 2-2 0-0 5; Tennyson 1-8 0-0 3; VanGeison 0-0 2-2 2; Rickey 4-10 1-3 9; Hobbs, Jessica 2-4 5-5 10; Hobbs, Jordan 3-8 0-0 7; Zoglmann 5-9 0-2 12; Bleumer 0-0 1-2 1.
McPherson (80) — Cramer 5-10 4-4 14; Eisenhour 4-8 0-0 11; Brown 2-6 2-4 8; Brewster 5-9 0-1 12; Chambers 4-9 3-3 12; Short 0-1 2-2 2; Cooper 2-7 0-0 4; Puttergill 6-13 0-2 12; Engelbert 2-4 0-0 5.