McPherson College’s women’s basketball team kept knocking down Bethany College on Thursday, but the Swedes kept getting right back up.
Finally, the Swedes went down and stayed down.
The Bulldogs opened KCAC play successfully at the Sport Center with a hard-earned 71-63 decision over the Swedes in the county showdown.
After leading by as many as 14, 28-14, the Bulldogs gave up a 21-3 run and the lead during the second quarter and it wound up tied by intermission at 35-all.
The Bulldogs pushed it back out to as many as 7 in the third quarter, 49-42, but again the resilient Swedes charged back within 49-47 going into the fourth quarter.
Mac made one final push, as a Brooke Racette 3-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer gave the Bulldogs a 62-52 lead and they were able to close the game out.
“Every conference game is just like this, it’s a hard-fought battle,” said Mac coach Gordon Reimer, whose team is now 5-1 overall after winning for a fourth straight time. “Both teams wanted to win and it was just really good competition. I was glad to see some players step up and really will themselves to win this game.”
After playing airtight defense to lead 17-9 after a quarter, the Bulldogs couldn’t contain Bethany’s 3-point shooters in the second quarter. Samm Ashida knocked down four herself as the Swedes unleashed a 26-point salvo.
The second half was keyed by solid Mac defense, as the Bulldogs held the Swedes to just 27 percent. For the game, Bethany shot just 31 percent.
Brooklyn Coe led the Bulldogs with 18 points. Despite foul trouble, Cami Richardson turned in a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kristina Battle toiled 35 exhausting minutes and added 12 points.
Ashida scored 17 to pace the Swedes, Kimi Lindshield added 13 and 9 rebounds, while Tehya Peters chipped in with 12, but the Bulldogs limited her to 5-of-21 from the field.
Mac goes on the road Saturday to Salina to take on Kansas Wesleyan, while Bethany, now 0-5 overall, returns to Hahn Gym on Saturday to tangle with Ottawa.
Mac (71) — Holt 4, Battle 12, Coe 18, Richardson 14, Bacon 8, Milum 6, Racette 7, Allen 2.
Bethany (63) — Lindshield 13, Scudder 5, Peters 12, Wong 6, Ashida 17, Favor 1, Ahaneku 2, Burdick 7.