About the only good to come out of Saturday’s McPherson College men’s 83-59 loss to Baker at the Sport Center was that the Bulldogs made 14 of 15 free throws to bolster their No. 5 national ranking in that category.
But the same team that shot 93 percent from the line could manage only 27 percent from the field and a woeful 20 percent from 3-point, where it spent most of the game as the physical Wildcats kept pushing them farther from the basket.
These two teams normally play close games and it was just that for the first 10 minutes as they matched point-for-point. But the Bulldogs were outscored 31-12 the rest of the half to trail 45-26 as they could get nothing inside and wound up launching 16 3-pointers, making just four. The second half proved to be more of the same as Baker widened the lead to as many as 37 before Mac closed the game on a 17-4 run for cosmetic purposes.
For the game, the Bulldogs were 7 of 35 from 3-point as they had no offensive flow after the early minutes.
“We had just come off two games in California where we shot the ball well and had had a good week of practice,” said Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber, whose team had its three-game winning streak snapped. “For whatever reason we didn’t score the ball well and Baker did.”
Baker now has won four games in a row and this was one of the better Wildcat teams Mac has gone up against.
“You have to give them credit, I thought they played extremely well,” Swartzendruber said. “I certainly didn’t think we helped ourselves defensively. We didn’t get back in transition like we work on every day and we gave them a lot of wide-open shots, which they made.”
The Bulldogs were without Reed Rowell and Dee Roberts, both of whom are expected back for the return to KCAC play on Saturday when they host Sterling.
Aaron Bachura led the Bulldogs with 19 points, while Chris Crook scored 11 and Chris Lowe added 10. Daniel Young led the balanced Wildcats with 13 points. Baker was 30 of 59 from the field, 13 of 26 from 3-point and made 10 of 11 foul shots in a torrid shooting display.
Mac is the KCAC team with an open date on Thursday as the other 10 teams return to conference play.
Mac (59) — Martinez 2, O’Hara 8, Bachura 19, Crook 11, Lakin 2, Lowe 10, Parker 3, Haury 2, Wiltfong 2.
Baker (83) — Barnes 10, Wilson 7, Easter 7, Guscott 4, Martin 6, Sunderland 2, Mick 3, Parker 4, Gray 4, Bramble 2, Bolton 8, Campbell 2, Johnson 11, Young 13.