SALINA — McPherson College’s women alternated the brilliant with the forgettable on Tuesday to suffer a 71-60 loss to highly regarded Dakota State in the first day of the Rib Crib Coyote Basketball Classic hosted by Kansas Wesleyan at Mabee Arena.
The Bulldogs scored 44 points in the first and third quarters, but suffered power outages in the second and fourth quarters, managing just 16.
As they have so many times this season, the Bulldogs were right there with 6 minutes left in the game, down 58-57, only to be outscored 13-3 from that point on.
“Kind of a little bit of rust after being off for so long,” said Mac coach Gordon Reimer, whose team is now 5-11 on the season. “We turned the ball over way too many times to win that game. Otherwise, I thought we executed and showed good signs against a good team. If we just clean up about five of those turnovers we win that game.”
The first quarter set the mood. After falling behind 6-0, the Bulldogs played perhaps their best stretch of basketball of the year with a 19-3 run to open up a 10-point lead and still were up 21-14 after a quarter.
The Trojans then were the dominator with an 18-7 edge in the second quarter to lead 32-28 at the half.
The Bulldogs fell behind by nine points early in the third period, but went on a 23-10 burst to take a 51-47 advantage into the final quarter.
Again, the Trojans had an answer as they outscored the Bulldogs 24-9 over the final 8 minutes, highlighted by the strong end-of-the-game run.
“I could see us fall off the cliff a bit as we got tired,” said Reimer, whose team had only nine available players at game time as four were not available due to weather-related traveling problems. However, Kristina Battle and Kendahl Kelly made it to the arena by halftime, though they didn’t play. They probably will Wednesday when the Bulldogs are right back in action at noon against powerful Mount Marty, which has split with this Dakota State team.
Mac’s Bailey Brown was one player who showed no signs of a layoff, pouring in 23 points offensively and came up with five steals defensively. Ashton Bruner and Amanda Allen scored 10 points apiece, with Bruner pulling down seven rebounds and Allen six. Reagan McClellean came up with five assists, four rebounds and four steals off the bench.
Sharee Galbraith, a slim 6-1 forward with a nice touch, scored 22 points to lead Dakota State, which is now 9-5. Fourteen of those came in the second half, nine in the deciding fourth quarter.
Mac (60) — Bruner 10, Allen 10, Brown 23, S. Smart 7, Jefferson 2, G. Smart 3, McClellan 3, Lee 2.
Dakota State (71) — Lindblad 6, Olson 14, Hulstein 8, Walford 6, Galbraith 22, Jones 9, Vogl 2, Little 4.