For the first time since Jan. 31 of 2015, the McPherson College men’s basketball team has won back to back Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference games after surging past Kansas Wesleyan, 81-64, Wednesday night at the McPherson College Sport Center. The Bulldogs are 9-12 overall and 3-10 in the conference.
The Bulldogs trailed by eight at halftime, but clamped down and outscored Kansas Wesleyan 44-19 in the second half to win by a comfortable margin. After shooting 59 percent from the field in the first half, the Bulldogs made the necessary second half adjustments to hold the Coyotes to 33 percent shooting the rest of the way, including just 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, DeAndre Henson scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half to lead the Bulldogs in scoring.
“We guarded smarter in the second half; we didn’t leave shooters open,” head coach Tim Swartzendruber said. “DeAndre is having a great year for us and it was really good to see him step it up in the second half.”
The first 15 minutes of the first half were neck and neck with neither team ever leading by more than four points. Kansas Wesleyan began to separate themselves at the 5:08 mark of the half thanks to a KWU 3-pointer that sparked an 8-0 run. All together, KWU finished the first half on a 13-5 run to take a 45-37 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 14-3 run to take a three point lead with 13 minutes to play. McPherson was able to extend their lead to seven moments later, but KWU answered back on their next two possessions to make it a one score game.
The turning point came at the 5:56 mark by way of an Aaron Bachura 3-pointer which gave the Bulldogs a 64-60 lead. From that point on, the Bulldogs outscored the Coyotes 17-4 to turn a close game into a comfortable win.
Joining Henson in double figures was Careino Gurley with 14 points. Bachura and Reed Rowell each scored 10 points as well.
McPherson travels to Oklahoma Wesleyan on Saturday for a 7 p.m tipoff.