Long night for Mac College cagers

By Steve Sell
December 04, 2015

SALINA – Kansas Wesleyan’s women were shooting 3-pointers Thursday night as though they were layups.

The Coyotes opened their KCAC basketball game with McPherson College by making 7 of 13 3-pointers in the first quarter to build up an insurmountable 30-10 lead, though the Bulldogs did outscore them by two points the rest of the way.

The 89-71 loss dropped Mac to 2-2 in the KCAC and 3-7 overall. The Coyotes are now 3-1 in the conference and this week broke into the national rankings at No. 24, though it’s hard to believe there’s 23 teams out there better by the way they shot the ball.

KW tied a school record with 17 3-pointers, which came on 33 attempts. In the first half, it made 12 of 22 to finish with a 51-22 lead. For the game, the Coyotes scored 51 points on 3-point baskets, the Bulldogs just six.

“I couldn’t believe it, it was just anybody who got an open look was draining it,” Mac coach Gordon Reimer said.

The Coyotes had come in making only seven treys a game, but they had a stretch in the first quarter where they made five in a row.

“They average seven a game, so we thought, OK, we’ll give up some treys, that’s 21 points,” Reimer said. “We didn’t want to put them on the free throw line because they have done really well there. We were going to take away all their drives and not put them on the line.”

Newcomer Jordyn Alexander is the real deal, making 8 of 9 shots and scoring 19 points to lead KW. Bethany Barlow came off the bench to make five treys and scored 17 points. Karlie Steinle and Jenna Farris both scored 11 points, combining for a half-dozen 3-pointers.

Bailey Brown led Mac with 19 points, including 9 of 13 at the foul line as she time and again took the ball hard to the basket. Ashton Bruner also drove hard, finishing with 16 points, and Georgia Smart added 11.

Mac is home on Saturday to host Friends at 5 p.m.

Mac (71) — Bruner 16, G. Smart 11, Brown 19, S. Smart 4, McClellan 2, Battle 9, Racette 4, Kelly 2, Allen 4.

KW (89) — Steinle 11, Farris 11, New 3, Lichtenhauer 5, Alexander 19, Barlow 17, Mortensen 5, Grant 5, Hula 4, Lyon 2, Patton 7.

• KW MEN 67, MAC 64 — Once again, the Bulldogs ran into that brick wall with 5 minutes to go.

The Bulldogs seemed to be in control with an 11-point second-half lead, but the Coyotes finished on a 20-6 run for the stunning come-from-behind victory.

Mac, which will be without standout center Reed Rowell until January due to an ankle injury, is now 1-3 in the KCAC and 3-8 overall.

The Bulldogs trailed 28-24 at the half, but finally caught fire as a 16-5 run propelled them to a 58-47 lead. But they got in a hurry over the final 5 minutes and some questionable shot selection allowed the Coyotes to catch, and then pass them.

“Unfortunately that’s the way it’s been,” a dejected Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said. “We were down 3 at Southwestern and lost. Ottawa, we were right there and couldn’t close the game out. Tonight, we just took some stupid shots, some quick shots (late in the game). There’s really no reason at that point, we’re playing against the clock.”

Dee Roberts scored 26 points to lead Mac, but was just 1 of 10 from 3-point. Chris Crook added 22 points, but the rest of the Bulldogs couldn’t find the mark. Mac finished just 24 of 65 from the field, 4 of 24 from 3-point. They also got beat 47-39 off the glass.

Ryan Hill led KW with 12. Mac’s Kyle Lakin did a great job defensively on 20-point scorer Dominique Johnson, holding him to 10 while also hustling to seven rebounds as he tied for the team high despite being 5-6.

Mac returns home on Saturday to take on Friends.

Mac (64) — Martinez 6, O’Hara 3, Roberts 26, Crook 22, Lakin 2, Bachura 2, Parker 1, Wiltfong 2.

KW (67) — Lunz 7, Smith 8, Hill 12, Hildago 10, Johnson 10, Criswell 7, Mitchell 5, Roth 8.