Close. Oh so close.
McPherson College’s women and Kansas Wesleyan entered Wednesday’s game at the Sport Center tied for fourth place in the KCAC basketball standings, with the winner taking over sole possession.
Forty minutes couldn’t decide an outcome. Nor did 45.
But after 50 minutes, the Coyotes outlasted Mac 73-65 in what was a well-played game as despite its length, the teams combined for just 24 turnovers.
Mac is now 7-7 in the KCAC and 10-14 overall. Wesleyan moved to 8-6 and 17-7.
The loss snapped a six-game home winning streak for the Bulldogs, who also had won five of their last six games overall.
“A couple of months ago when we played them we were down 30 at the half,” said Mac coach Gordon Reimer, whose team’s swarming defense led to a 29-22 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, though, the Bulldogs were ice cold and the Coyotes charged to take a 39-38 lead. KW then went up 45-38 before the Bulldogs mounted a comeback and finally tied the game on Kristina Battle’s old-fashioned 3-point play, which sent the game into overtime at 53-all.
The Bulldogs had a 60-58 lead in the first OT, but a Stephanie Lichtenauer basket tied it. KW had a chance to win in the last second, but Jordyn Alexander’s short shot rimmed off.
KW, though, dominated the second overtime as the Bulldogs gave up nine of the game’s last 11 points.
The Bulldogs’ dynamic senior duo of Ashton Bruner and Bailey Brown did their best to win it. Bruner had her 11th double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Brown scored 20 and had six boards. Brown played 48 of the 50 minutes and Bruner 45.
The Coyotes had four players in doubles, led by Alexander with 18 points, along with 11 rebounds. The player that hurt Mac, though, was Lichtenauer, who had 10 points in the two OTs after scoring just three in regulation.
“I just felt like we’ve showed a lot of progress and I like the improvement we have made,” Reimer said.
Mac has a tough task on Saturday when it goes to Friends.
Mac (65) — Bruner 24, Brown 20, Allen 9, S. Smart 2, Battle 6, Racette 2, G. Smart 2.
KW (73) — Wilson 6, Steinle 12, Farris 17, Lichtenauer 13, Alexander 18, Grant 5, Patton 2.