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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Mac looks to keep momentum against Tabor

  • Currently sitting seventh in the conference after going 1-3 in the four games prior to the Winter Break, the 8-8 Bulldogs would like to get back to the front of the pack.
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  • Currently sitting seventh in the conference after going 1-3 in the four games prior to the Winter Break, the 8-8 Bulldogs would like to get back to the front of the pack.
    They get their first chance tonight when they travel to Hillsboro, Kansas for an  8 p.m. tipoff with the 9-6, 2-2 Tabor College Blue Jays.
    The 'Dogs are coming off a couple of close games from their Mac Classic this past weekend. On Friday MC played Baker University for the second time this season.
    In their first meeting, McPherson took out the Wildcats in Baldwin City courtesy of a last second free throw by Joey Powers. This time, BU got the better of Mac in a tight battle.
    The opening half was never controlled by one team for more than a few possessions as the two squads traded baskets most of the way. The Bulldogs took a 31-27 lead into the locker room after hitting a few late shots.
    Despite maintaining their advantage throughout the first part of the second period, McPherson was never able to break away.
    The lead traded hands for the middle part of the half and it was even at 61-61 with one-minute remaining.
    BU put one through to take a two-point advantage with 20 ticks left. A missed three by Mac was rebounded by the Bulldogs but a turnover gave the ball back to the Wildcats with just seven seconds to play.
    Following two free throw makes by Baker to put them up four, McPherson missed a three-ball but got the put back to fall as time expired, giving them the 65-63 defeat.
    In the final game of the Classic, the 'Dogs took on Haskell Indian Nations University which they faced in Lawrence for the first game of the season. Mac won that contest on a last second hook shot by Devirous Johnson.
    Scoring started slow on Saturday but MC quickly cranked it up and got ahead by 15 with less than 10 minutes to go in the half.
    HINU closed out the period with a 9-2 run, pulling the score to 42-38 in favor of McPherson.
    The second half was controlled by the 'Dogs but they never got ahead by more than a handful.
    With eight minutes to play, HINU took their first lead since the first minute of the game. It went back-and-forth the rest of the way with multiple lead changes.
     With time diminishing, MC saw themselves down a point but made 1-of-2 foul shots to tie things and force the first overtime.
    After getting ahead by three, the game looked to be on lock-down but a flying three-ball from the Indians forced a second OT.
    Now having fouled out two of Haskell's big men, McPherson coasted to a perfect 6-of-6 shooting in double overtime, grabbing a 112-105 victory.
    Page 2 of 3 - Scoring a career-high 36 points, Brian Johnson cashed in on 11-of-15 from the floor and 14-of-21 from the free throw line. He also tallied 12 rebounds and a team leading seven assists.
     A career second-best 34 points were tallied by Samson Shivers who ended the game with 10-of-19 shots making their way in with 6-of-13 from range and 8-of-9 from the stripe being counted. The senior is now 167 points off the all-time career scoring record for McPherson College.
    Devirous Johnson finished out the "big three" for Mac on Saturday as he logged 26 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. He was 8-of-14 from the field and 10-of-13 from the line.
    Johnson now has an impressive 11 double-doubles this season and continues to lead the NAIA in rebounds, averaging 12.7 per game.
    Mac in the National Rankings
    Devirous Johnson leads the NAIA in four different rebounding categories: Defensive Rebounds per Game (8.25), Offensive Rebounds per Game (4.50), Total Rebounds per Game (12.75) and Total Rebounds (204); he also leads the Nation in Double-Doubles with 11.
    Shivers is 13th in the NAIA D-II in Total Three-Point Field Goals made with 48 and 19th in Three Balls made a Game at 19.
    The team ranks 10th in NAIA Division-II in Total Rebounds with 675, 11th in Offensive Rebounds per Game at 14.3 and 14th in Total Rebounds an outing with 42.2
    Scouting Tabor
    The Blue Jays will head into Thursday's contest with a 9-6 overall record, they are 2-2 against KCAC opponents.
    After losing their final KCAC game of 2013, TC has put together three-straight victories against non-conference opponents, all coming in 2014.
    Tabor took out NAIA Division-I and HAAC powerhouse Benedictine College 72-65, lowly D-II Central Baptist of Arkansas 85-71 and most recently Haskell Indian Nations Univ. 96-73.
    This season, TC has scored 1,240 points, averaging 82.7 a contest and have a 2.60 positive score margin. As far as field goal percentage, 45.2 percent of the team's shots from the field have found their way through.
    They knock down 6.8 three-point field goals and have a 32.5 shooting percentage from downtown. From the foul stripe, Tabor is counting 69.7 percent of their tries.
    Despite having a relative high rebounding total, 38.8, they have a negative rebounding margin at this point in the season. 12.8 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 8.4 steals and 2.7 blocks are recorded by the Blue Jays each time they hit the court.
    Dewayne Biggs is the squad's leading scorer with his 17.5 average. He's made 83 field goals and 85 free throws while playing 419 minutes, all of which are team-highs.
    Brent Jackson is next on the scoring list as he nets 14.2 points an outing, scoring on 50 percent of his field goals during his 10 games played this season. He has not touched the court since mid-December.
    Scoring 12.5 a game is Andrew Thomas, who is the team's leading big man. He has pulled down 83 rebounds and averages 6.9 a contest.
    Page 3 of 3 - Lance Carter is the final TC player to get over 10 on a regular basis with his 10.9 average. He is second on the team in minutes played per game with 24.0.
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