LINDSBORG — The McPherson College women's basketball team opened the second half of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule with a 60-44 victory over Bethany College on Monday evening at Hahn Gymnasium.
The game had been rescheduled from Saturday, Jan. 14, after a winter storm impacted the area.
After being tied at 5-5 early on, the Bulldogs (11-9, 6-6 KCAC) scored seven straight points and finished the first quarter on a 12-4 run, capping the frame with a 3-pointer by Brooke Racette as time expired.
A 3-pointer by Victoria Gonzalez — her third of the half — extended the McPherson lead to 11 points with less than a minute gone in the second quarter, but Bethany (5-13, 3-9 KCAC) rallied for 10 of the next 12 points to cut the Bulldog advantage to just three at 24-21 with 5:12 left in the half. A layup by Cami Richardson and a 3-pointer by RJ Kuhn pushed the lead back to eight and sparked a 13-4 run for McPherson to close the half as the Bulldogs took a 37-25 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs scored the first seven points to extend the lead to 19 points before Samirah Miller hit a pair of free throws with 6:16 left in the quarter to get the Swedes on the board. A stingy McPherson defense kept Bethany from making its first field goal until the 4:57 mark when Sydney Ahaneku hit a layup to make it 44-29. The Bulldogs followed with eight more in succession before Tehya Peters scored off a Miller steal with 1:28 left. Peters added another hoop with seven seconds to play to make it 52-33 after three quarters.
McPherson was able to build the lead to 21 early in the fourth, only to see Bethany respond with a 7-0 run capped by an Abreale Favor 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 14 with 4:02 left in the game. Gonzalez hit a pair of shots in the final 3:42 while the Swedes were only able to counter with a pair of free throws by Ciera Wong.
After shooting 41.2 percent (14-of-34) from the field in the first half, the Bulldogs cooled off to just under 30 percent to finish at 36.2 percent (21-of-58) overall. McPherson also had 15 steals and forced a total of 22 turnovers.
Gonzalez led all players with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including three 3-pointers. She also pulled down four rebounds. Richardson was close to finishing with a triple-double, scoring 10 points and recording nine steals and six assists. She had only two field goals but was 6-of-7 at the free-throw line. Racette added eight points off the bench, while Brooklyn Coe had seven points and five rebounds and Danielle Holt added six points, nine rebounds and three steals.
The Swedes were held to 23.5 percent (12-of-51) shooting overall, including 17.9 percent shooting and just five field goals in the second half. Bethany stayed in the game by hitting on 16 of 24 opportunities at the charity stripe.
Peters led the Swedes with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Samm Ashida added eight points and Ashton Burdick six, while Kimi Lindshield had four points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Monday's game was the first of three this week for McPherson, which hosts Kansas Wesleyan University at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Sport Center before making the trek to Bartlesville, Okla., to face Oklahoma Wesleyan at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.