MANHATTAN — McPherson College’s men’s basketball team turned to its veterans to win its season opener on Tuesday.
Senior Chris Crook and junior Aaron Bachura scored 15 points apiece to lead the Bulldogs to an 83-78 victory over pesky Manhattan Christian, which always plays teams tough in its tiny gym.
Mac was on fire in the first half as it sprinted to a 50-39 lead, but cooled off after the break as it was actually outscored by the Thunder.
Newcomer Careino Gurley, a juco transfer, powered his way to 14 points, making 6 of 7 shots. Returning seniors DeAndre Henson and Reed Rowell gave Mac five players in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs, one of the top foul shooting teams in the country for much of last year, picked up where they left off with an 18-of-23 performance.
“It was a solid first game," Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said. "Manhattan Christian has the most talent I've seen since we have played them. They are athletic and can shoot. We did a great job down the stretch hitting free throws and getting some key stops."
The Bulldogs are home on Friday to take on Haskell at 8 p.m., then play Bacone at 6 p.m. Saturday as part of the McPherson Classic.