HILLSBORO — The McPherson College women's basketball team shot just 31 percent from the field and were just 10-of-24 at the free throw line in a 68-49 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference loss at No. 12 Tabor College Saturday evening.
Both teams got off to a slow start as nearly three minutes ticked off the clock before Sonerka White gave the Bulldogs (5-2, 1-1 KCAC) a 2-0 lead with a layup at the 7:10 mark. The Bluejays (4-2, 2-0 KCAC) responded with a 9-2 run to take a five-point lead, but back-to-back baskets by McPherson's Julie Olvera and Kristina Battle — plus a free throw by Battle to complete a 3-point play — tied the game at 9-9 with 2:03 to play in the opening quarter.
Tabor responded with baskets on consecutive possessions down the stretch to retake the lead. A free throw by Bulldog freshman Brittany Roberts with 0.1 seconds left on the clock left the hosts with a 13-10 lead headed to the second quarter.
The Bluejays opened the second quarter on a 10-2 run to run their lead to 11 at 23-12. McPherson was hindered by three turnovers and four missed shots during the stretch. The Bulldogs were unable to make a significant dent in the Tabor advantage and the Bluejays took a 33-24 advantage into the halftime break.
Tabor continued to build the lead in the third quarter, outscoring McPherson, 19-12, in the frame and building the lead out to 18 in the final minute of the quarter before a Roberts layup made it 52-36 headed to the final stanza.
The Bulldogs scored the first four points of the fourth quarter on a couple of Brooklyn Coe free throws and a Brooklyn Coe layup to cut the deficit to 12, but the Bluejays responded with a 10-0 run to push the lead to 22 points. McPherson would only get the lead back under 20 as Olvera and Emma Van Donselsaar each hit layups in the game's final 30 seconds.
McPherson struggled to 31 percent (18-of-58) shooting from the field and was under .500 at the charity stripe (10-of-24; 41.7 percent).
White had a team-high nine points to lead the Bulldogs. She also chipped in with five boards, two assists and a steal. Coe, Olvera and Roberts had seven points apiece, while Richardson had six points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Tabor was shot 47.1 percent (24-of-51) from the field, but was better at the free-throw line, where the Bluejays went 15-of-22 (68.2 percent).
Morgan Ediger scored a game-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers. She was also 6-of-8 at the line. Taylor Deniston added 13 points, while Tristen Leiszler had nine and Kristyn Wedel posted six points, nine boards, four blocks and three assists.
The Bulldogs return to the court Tuesday evening with a trip to Lindsborg to face county rival Bethany College. Tipoff from Hahn Gymnasium is slated for 6 p.m.