The battle for McPherson was split Wednesday night at the McPherson College Sport Center. The McPherson College women and the Central Christian College men picked up wins over their cross town rival to stay undefeated in the early season.
In the men’s game, Central (3-0) went on a 13-4 run over the final five and a half minutes to steal a 56-53 win from the home team. McPherson (1-3) had a chance to tie or take the lead on its final possession, but could not get a shot off against a stingy Central defense.
The game was close the entire way, but McPherson was able to jump out to an early lead and keep Central at arms length. The Bulldogs led by six or seven for most of the first half, but Central used a 9-5 run in the final four minutes of the half to take a 27-26 lead into the break.
Central maintained its lead for the first eight minutes of the second half, but a 3-point basket at the 11:58 mark by McPherson’s Garrett Owen gave the Bulldogs their first lead since the first half.
The Bulldogs would not surrender their lead until the 2:33 mark when Central’s Cam Martin lobbed the ball to big-man Jubril Osagie, who finished with an emphatic dunk in transition that sent the Central faithful crazy. Up 53-51, the Tigers would hold on to the lead the rest of the game.
Martin led the Tiger attack with 16 points and three assists, while Osagie added 13 points and had seven rebounds. As a team, Central shot 39.2 percent from the field (20-51) and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc (6-17).
McPherson was led by Frederick Watts’ double-double with a team high 11 points and 10 rebounds. Grant Raleigh scored 10 points while Careino Gurley scored nine points and had six rebounds. The Bulldogs shot well from the field at 45.8 percent (22-48), but only made 20 percent of 3-point attempts (3-15).
The Bulldogs begin KCAC play next Wednesday when they host Oklahoma Wesleyan. Central will also host Oklahoma Wesleyan in its next action, Saturday in the opening round of the CCC Classic for Christ.
It was a completely different story in the women’s game.
For the 12th year in a row, the Bulldogs defeated their cross town rival, this time by a whopping score of 115-55. The Bulldogs, a much deeper and more experienced team, ran away with this game from the beginning, jumping out to a 30-8 lead after the first quarter.
McPherson (4-0) led 51-22 at halftime, and eclipsed the century mark with four minutes remaining in the game. Central (0-2) was able to stay in the game for a short time, but the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 19-2 over the final five minutes of the first quarter to set the tone for the rest of the game.
McPherson was led by Brooklyn Coe’s 20 points, while Sonerka White (17), Maressah Milum (11), and Nicole Abunaja (11) all scored in double figures. The Bulldogs held a 57-35 advantage in the rebounding category.
Holly Golden (16) and Abbie Banks (15) accounted for the majority of Central’s scoring; Chloe Mefford and Havanna Yannello combined for 18 points.
McPherson looks to stay unbeaten on Saturday when they travel to Bacone College before starting KCAC play. Central will look for its first win on Friday when they host Grace University in the CCC Classic for Christ tournament.
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