What McPherson College men’s basketball coach Tim Swartzendruber saw on Wednesday was what he had envisioned for his Bulldogs this season.
The Bulldogs scored 35 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half on some red-hot shooting to open up a 29-point lead and went on for an 83-66 victory over Kansas Wesleyan to end a six-game losing streak.
The Bulldogs rained 13 3-pointers, an area of their game that has been a struggle this year. After leading 36-29 at the half (with Chris Crook hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer), they opened the second half on a 35-13 blitz.
“That little stretch there in the second half — I don’t know how many we made in a row (four) — but it was just fun to see those guys stepping up and knocking down shots with confidence,” Swartzendruber said.
DeAndre Henson made his home debut a spectacular one for the Bulldogs as he came off the bench for 15 points and six rebounds. Henson, who averaged 11 points a game last season, had to sit out the first semester, but his return makes Mac a completely different team. In fact, the Bulldogs were missing only Ryan O’Hara as they’ve not had their complete roster the entire year.
“He’s a good player. We’ve missed him, obviously,” Swartzendruber said. “It was good to see him play tonight. He was nervous on Saturday (in his season debut at Ottawa) and airballed his first shot. But he just played within himself tonight and did a good job.”
Ramon Martinez just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Mac. Crook scored 16, Dee Roberts 13 and Aaron Bachura 11. Reed Rowell showed that he’s rounding back into form with 11 rebounds after being sidelined for eight games with an injury.
The Bulldogs also toughened up on the defensive end, holding KW to just 25 of 66 from the field.
Mac, now 3-11 in the KCAC and 7-17 overall, goes on the road Saturday to play Friends.
Mac (83) — Martinez 17, Rowell 8, Raleigh 1, Bachura 11, Crook 16, Henson 15, Roberts 13, Parker 2.
KW (66) — Smith 7, Hill 11, Hildago 3, Johnson 10 Edwards 6, Slyvester 8, Moss 9, Criswell 5, Mitchell 3, Neri 4.