WINFIELD — The McPherson College women's basketball team closed out the first half of its 2016-2017 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule with a 73-63 loss to Southwestern College Thursday evening at Stewart Field House.
The Lady Builders (9-10, 5-6 KCAC) jumped out to a 7-2 lead, scoring seven straight points after an opening hoop by Brooke Zimmerman. The Bulldogs (10-9, 5-6 KCAC) responded with six straight points — three each by Danielle Holt and Brooklyn Coe — to grab an 8-7 lead as the opening quarter wound past its halfway mark.
The teams traded the next four baskets with Southwestern grabbing a 13-12 lead on a jumper by Jordyn Miller and extending the lead to three on a shot by Jennifer Myers. Victoria Gonzalez hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 22 seconds left to send the teams to the second quarter tied at 15.
Southwestern grabbed the lead out of the quarter break on a 3-pointer by Jazmyne Laskey with 9:10 left in the half and continued to build the lead to nine over the next 4:17 when Kenzi Taylor hit a shot to make it 32-23 with just under five minutes remaining before halftime.
McPherson used a 7-1 run capped by a Coe 3-pointer to slice the lead to just three points with 58 seconds left. Kayla Demel countered with a jumper before Kristina Battle ended the period with a pair of free throws to make it a three-point Lady Builder advantage at the break. The Coe trey ended a span of 5:34 without a field goal for the Bulldogs.
The hosts opened the second half on a 9-4 run, extending the lead to eight points before McPherson responded with five in a row behind a Coe layup and a 3-point play by Holt. After a Miller free throw, the Bulldogs trimmed the lead to one at 45-44 on a traditional three-point play by Cami Richardson (Hesston, Kan., Hesston HS) with 2:48 remaining in the quarter. Maddie Rogers and Gonzalez traded 3-pointers to keep it a one-point game, but Rogers hit another basket with 44 seconds left in the period to give Southwestern a 50-47 lead after three quarters.
McPherson was cold to open the fourth quarter, missing its first five shots and committing a pair of turnovers. Southwestern took advantage, scoring the first nine points of the quarter before Battle hit a driving layup with 4:56 to play. Fouled on the play, she converted the free throw to cut the deficit to nine at 59-50. The teams matched each other nearly point-for-point down the stretch with the Lady Builders emerging with the 10-point victory.
Southwestern shot 44.7 percent (21-of-47) from the field, hit eight of 20 3-pointers and connected on 23 of 34 free throws. The Lady Builders also had a 43-28 advantage on the glass. Miller led all players with 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting. She also hit eight of 10 free throws and had a game-high 13 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Rogers added 15 points and four rebounds, while Taylor had 13 points and seven boards.
The Bulldogs were limited to 33.3 percent (19-of-57) shooting overall including 5-of-16 on 3-pointers and a 20-of-28 effort at the free throw line. Coe tallied 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting, while Battle added 13 points and three assists. Holt and Zimmerman had nine points apiece and Richardson had seven points, a team-best six boards, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
The Bulldogs start the second half of the KCAC slate Saturday afternoon with a game at rival Bethany College in Lindsborg. Tipoff from Hahn Gymnasium is slated for 5 p.m.