BARTLESVILLE, Okla — The McPherson College women's basketball team fell to 11-11 overall and 6-8 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference after falling to Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 67-57, on Saturday at Mueller Sports Center.
The Bulldogs made a season-high 13 threes and held a 44-38 edge on the boards, but committed 17 turnovers to the Eagles' nine.
The teams traded the lead back-and-forth through the early portion of the opening quarter. A 3-pointer by Victoria Gonzalez gave McPherson a 16-14 lead with 2:41 remaining, but Oklahoma Wesleyan responded with seven straight points to close the quarter. The Eagles capped the rally with a basket by Grace Pospichal with seven seconds left to lead 21-16 at the quarter break.
Both teams struggled to connect from the field to open the second quarter as it took nearly three minutes for the first points to be registered on a layup by Danielle Holt. After the teams traded free throws, Cami Richardson tied the game at 22-22 with a 3-pointer at the 5:15 mark.
The Eagles finished the half on a 16-5 run, draining four 3-pointers in the final five minutes including one by Cheyenne Been at the buzzer to take a 38-27 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with seven straight points on a Battle free throw and 3-pointers by Richardson and Brooklyn Coe. The Eagles finally stopped the streak when Shelbie Kirby hit a trey at the 6:33 mark to make it 41-34. McPherson eventually cut the lead to three points at 46-43 on another Gonzalez 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining, but OKWU took a five-point lead to the final quarter after Tiffany Rieger knocked down a shot with one second left.
A 3-pointer by RJ Kuhn to start the fourth quarter cut the Eagles' advantage to two, but five straight points by Kirby pushed the lead back to seven points with 7:49 left. Gonzalez knocked down her third 3-pointer of the game four minutes later to make it a three-point game, but the Bulldogs could get no closer as the Eagles finished the game on a 10-3 run.
Neither team was afraid to shoot the three in the first half with just over half (31 of 60) shots coming from behind the arc. OKWU was 8-of-17 from long range, while McPherson was just 5-of-14. Both teams continued to fire away in the second half as the Bulldogs were 8-of-19 to finish 13-of-33 overall. The Eagles were 4-of-12 in the final two quarters to finish 12-of-29 overall.
OKWU also performed better at the free-throw line, knocking down 11 of 14 opportunities. McPherson was just 6-of-11.
Richardson, who had 13 of McPherson's 22 points at the break, finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-of-12 shooting and four 3-pointers. She also had eight rebounds, six assists, a block and an assist. Kuhn added a career-high 11 points behind three 3-pointers. Gonzalez also knocked down three treys to finish with nine points, while Coe had eight points, three boards and three assists. Brooke Zimmerman as held out of the scoring column, but pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Kirby tallied a game-high 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting and five 3-pointers. Her scoring total included 10 fourth-quarter points. Rieger added 16 points and another four threes. Been just missed a double-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
The Bulldogs return to the court Wednesday, Jan. 25, when they host Bethel College (1-17, 0-14 KCAC) at the Sport Center. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. McPherson won the initial meeting between the schools, 45-43, in overtime on Dec. 1 in North Newton.