SALINA — McPherson College’s women need to petition the rules committee to have basketball games shortened to 35 minutes.
For the second time in 24 hours in the RibCrib Coyote Classic hosted by Kansas Wesleyan on Wednesday, the Bulldogs were in position to win with 5 minutes to go.
But they again failed to close the deal, being outscored 19-6 in those fateful 5 to lose 79-66 to a very strong Mount Marty team out of South Dakota that Mac coach Gordon Reimer believes would be in the Top 3 in the KCAC.
Mac finished the tourney 0-2, as it intertwined some terrific play with crucial defensive lapses. In the opener, it was outscored 13-3 in the last 6 minutes to lose 71-60.
“That’s two games in a row where we lost our mental focus to finish a game,” said Reimer, whose team is now 5-12 on the season. “We’re just going to have to work on that and learn to get through that. We played some really good stretches, we’re right there. We’ve just to go longer stretches.”
The game was a mirror image of Tuesday’s loss to Dakota State. Mac came out firing for a 10-1 lead, but then fell asleep on getting out to guard the 3-point shooters to trail 24-23 after a quarter. Both teams continued to shine on the offensive end, with the Trojans leading 41-35 going into the break.
Just as they did on Tuesday, Mac started the second half strong by reeling off nine straight points to go up 44-41, but again hit the wall at the end of the quarter to trail 55-51.
Mac stormed back to tie the game at 60-all with 4:48 to go, but Lancer reserve guard Mikayla Plouty then scored 11 points in less than 3 minutes, including three 3s, to break open the tight game as the Bulldogs failed to get out on her as she had wide-open looks.
“She was 5 of 7 (from 3) and really was a minor deal on our scouting report,” Reimer said. “A team has to have somebody step up and do that. Nobody on our team did that and they had somebody who did.”
Plouty finished with 23 points, tying Alex Kneeland for team honors. Raquel Sutera added 19, along with 14 rebounds, as it was pretty much a three-woman show.
Ashton Bruner led Mac with 23 points and also pulled down seven rebounds. Bailey Brown added 15 points, but the only other effective offensive player was Amanda Allen, who had eight points and nine rebounds.
Mac now has some time off as it doesn’t play again until Jan. 7 when it hosts York College, a team Reimer said is similar to the two the Bulldogs just played here.
Mac (66) — Bruner 23, Allen 8, Brown 15, S. Smart 5, Battle 3, Racette 5, McClellan 2, G. Smart 5.
Mount Marty (79) — Kneeland 23, Gebhart 6, Winckler 2, Sutera 19, Bormann 2, Veldkamp 3, Prouty 23, Blake 1.