The marathon that is the KCAC basketball schedule finally reaches the midway point Thursday night.
The McPherson College Bulldogs make one of their longest trips of the season when they trek to Leavenworth to take on Saint Mary. This is the 10th game of the 20-game conference season.
The women start the action at 6 p.m., with the men to follow. Join 96.7 KBBE-FM’s Chris Swick for all the action, starting with the pre-game approximately at 5:40.
The Mac women have been surging recently. With their 64-59 win over Sterling on Saturday, they are now 4-5 in the KCAC and 7-12 overall. They have climbed into a tie for sixth place with Southwestern, a team they host Saturday night.
Saint Mary’s women had a nice start to conference play, but have fallen off recently to stand 3-6 and in eighth place. The Spires are coming off a 112-76 loss to Oklahoma Wesleyan, giving up 38 points in the first quarter.
Imani Dixon is the player to watch for Saint Mary as the 6-0 senior is one of the KCAC’s top inside players. Keep an eye on Kelsey Switzer, a 6-0 guard who was the KCAC’s top freshman last year. She has struggled somewhat this year averaging 8.5 points a game, but has had games of 20 and 18.
In the men’s game, it’s all about the Bulldogs slowing down Spires All-American Grant Greenberg. Only a junior, he recently eclipsed the 2,000-point mark in his career.
The Spires may be the KCAC’s most disappointing team so far as they are just 3-6 in the conference and 8-9 overall after being picked to finish in the Top 3. However, they have had several tough losses, including a 73-72 setback last week against KCAC leader Tabor. They also have lost by a point to Bethel and by two points to Kansas Wesleyan.
The Spires may have turned the corner on Saturday with a solid 91-82 road victory over Oklahoma Wesleyan as Greenberg scored 27 points. The Spires are a veteran team with most of their top players back from last year, which is a reason their start to conference play has been so perplexing. They could be the team, however, to make a huge run during the second half.
Mac comes in 2-7 in the KCAC and 6-13 overall. After Thursday, the Bulldogs play three of their next four games at home.