Four McPherson College players finished in double figures as the Bulldogs topped visiting Bethel College, 72-68, in overtime in a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball game Wednesday night at the Sport Center.
Brooklyn Coe opened the game with five straight points to push McPherson (12-11, 7-8 KCAC) to an early lead. Bethel (1-18, 0-15 KCAC) battled back to tie the game at 7-7 on a 3-pointer by Elise Gerlach with 4:49 left in the opening quarter. The Bulldogs closed the frame on an 11-2 run, keyed by a pair of 3-pointers by Victoria Gonzalez, to grab an 18-9 lead at the quarter break. The Threshers were held to just 4 of 15 shooting overall, while four of McPherson's six made field goals were from behind the arc — two each from Coe and Gonzalez. The lead could have been greater, however, the Bulldogs made just two of eight free throws.
Bethel opened the second quarter with a 15-4 run to erase the deficit. Karlie Schroeder capped the run with jumper at the 3:23 mark to grab a 24-22 lead. Coe and Danielle Holt responded by hitting shots in the paint to put McPherson back into the lead, but the Threshers ended the half with six straight points over the final 1:30 to take a 30-26 lead into the break. Bethel outscored McPherson, 21-8, in the period. The Bulldogs were just 3-of-13 from the field — 0 for 6 behind the line — and 2 of 6 at the line.
McPherson scored two quick baskets to open the third quarter, tying the score at 30. Bethel responded with seven straight points to take a 37-30 lead as the quarter passed its halfway mark. The Bulldogs controlled the final five minutes of the frame, though, outscoring the Threshers 14-4 to lead 44-41 after three quarters. Gonzalez added three more 3-pointers during the run.
The hosts held the lead for the majority of the fourth quarter but Bethel knotted the score at 56 on a Schroeder layup with 2:43 to play. The teams traded the next four baskets with Kristina Battle tying the game at 60-60 on a basket underneath the hoop with 33.9 seconds to play. The Threshers ran the shot clock down before attempting one last shot in regulation, but Kylee Schunn's last-second try missed the mark sending the game to overtime.
Cami Richardson kicked off the extra session with a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a lead they would not concede. McPherson hit four of six free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
After a shaky first half, the Bulldogs shot 45.5 percent (15 of 33) in the second half and overtime to finish the game at 40.7 percent overall. They were also 9 of 23 from behind the arc. McPherson improved at the line as the game progressed. After hit on four of 14 opportunities in the first half, the Bulldogs were 6 of 12 in the second half and 5 of 8 in overtime to finish at 44.1 percent (15 of 34) overall.
Bethel finished the game shooting 35.2 percent (25 of 71) from the field and 18.2 percent (4 of 22) from behind the arc. The Threshers did connect on 14 of 19 free throws, however.
Coe led all players with 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting with two 3-pointers. She also had four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals. Richardson added a double-double, finishing with 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting and two treys. She also pulled down 10 rebounds and had five assists. Gonzalez drained five 3-pointers to match Richardson's point total. Battle made it four Bulldogs in double figures with 12 points behind 8-of-14 shooting at the free throw line. She also ha d three rebounds, four assists and a steal. Holt and Brooke Racette each pulled down eight rebounds.
Schroeder led Bethel with 17 points on 7 of 21 shooting. Riley Schmieder added 13 points and Ciara McKinney had 10. Fantasia Johnson and Kim Carbonell pulled down six rebounds each.
The Bulldogs take to the road Saturday to face Sterling College (13-9, 7-7 KCAC) in another KCAC matchup. Tipoff from the Gleason Center is set for 5 p.m. The Warriors took the first meeting between the schools, 61-45, on Dec. 3 at the Sport Center.