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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Bulldogs return with New Year showcase

  • For the McPherson College men's basketball team, the holiday break came at the perfect time.
    The Bulldogs were 6-4 entering KCAC play at the beginning of December and started conference play off on the right foot with a 92-54 dismantling of Bethel College. Since then, however, Mac College went 0-4 to close out 2013 with a 7-7 record.
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  • For the McPherson College men's basketball team, the holiday break came at the perfect time.
    The Bulldogs were 6-4 entering KCAC play at the beginning of December and started conference play off on the right foot with a 92-54 dismantling of Bethel College. Since then, however, Mac College went 0-4 to close out 2013 with a 7-7 record.
    Head coach Tim Swartzendruber and the Bulldogs can right the ship starting tonight, however, as they will be part of the field for the McPherson College January Classic, which also features Bethel, Haskell Indian Nations University and Baker University.
    The Classic will feature both men's and women's games today and Saturday. Today's slate includes the Bethel and Haskell women at 2 p.m. and the men at 4 p.m. The McPherson women and Dakota State University tip at 6 p.m., to be followed by the Bulldog men and Baker at 8 p.m.
    Saturday's games begin at noon between Dakota and the Bethel women, with Baker and Bethel following at 2 p.m. in a men's tilt. The Mac women face off with Haskell at 4 p.m., with the men slated to play against Haskell at 6 p.m.
    The Bulldogs will open up the Classic tonight with the hopes of duplicating their biggest win of season against Baker (6-6). McPherson defeated Baker 80-79 in Baldwin City in what was a wild ride from the opening tip.
    Even with the rough patch, the Bulldogs have been putting points on the scoreboard. Four of the five starters are in the top 20 in the conference in scoring in seniors Samson Shivers (17.3), Devirous Johnson (14.9) and Joey Powers (13.9) and junior Brian Johnson (13.2). There is a pretty big drop off after those four, however TJ Grant has come off the bench to average 7.2 points per game.
    The Bulldog defense will be tasked with shutting down EJ Carter, who has emerged as pretty much the Baker offense. The junior guard is averaging 17.6 points per game and is shooting 52.8 percent from the field and is an 81 percent foul shooter.
    Baker did suffer a loss to Haskell on Tuesday, which boosted HINU to a 3-8 record coming into the Classic. McPherson barely edged out Haskell on Oct. 29 75-74 to open the college basketball season.
    Mac women aim for New Year's success in Classic
    This wasn't supposed to be McPherson's season.
    The Lady Bulldogs were picked at the bottom of the KCAC in the preseason polls and started off the season 1-5. Something clicked, though, beginning with a win over Central Christian College on Nov. 19, and the Lady Bulldogs finished out 2013 by winning six of eight and are third in the KCAC standings with a 7-7 mark overall and 3-1 in the KCAC.
    McPherson is being led by the sophomore combination of Aubrey Barton and Bailey Brown. Barton leads the team in scoring with 12.9 points per game, while Brown is right behind with 12.2 ppg. A third sophomore, Coffeeville, Okla., native Sunny Smart, is putting up 10.2 points a game off the bench, though she is seeing an average of 23.7 minutes for the first-year head coach Gordon Reimer.
    Page 2 of 2 - McPherson hasn't faced tonight's opponent, Dakota State University, who comes into the McPherson Sport Center with a 6-11 record. The big weapon for DSU looks to be Kylie Westover, who averages 14.4 points per outing.
    The Bulldogs did defeat Haskell Indian Nations to open the season in October. Like the men's game, it was a nail-biter, with the final scored 59-58. Haskell has a 3-10 record coming into the McPherson College January Classic.

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