BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — After taking two huge steps forward earlier in the week, McPherson College’s men took a step back with a last-minute 79-78 loss to Oklahoma Wesleyan on Saturday that denied them a 3-0 week.
Mac had stormed back from 13 points down in the second half to take a 78-76 lead on a pair of Chris Crook free throws with 38.5 seconds left. But Elbert Lawrence made a basket and free throw to complete the And-1 and a 79-78 lead.
Crook missed a potential game-winner, but the ball stayed with Mac after it went out of bounds. Grant Munsen’s shot from short range would not drop as Mac is now 3-11 in the KCAC and 9-13 overall. Making matters worse was that Kansas Wesleyan pulled an upset on Saturday and moved back ahead of the Bulldogs in the standings.
“Those are tough to lose," Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said. "Our guys did a great job coming back. I thought we would win after we took the lead. It's just unfortunate. We have to be ready to bounce back next week."
Crook fired in 22 points to lead Mac and is now 15th all-time in Bulldog scoring as he passed Bill Smith. Crook has 1,161 career points.
Careino Gurley and Aaron Bachura scored 11 points apiece and DeAndre Henson had 10.
The Bulldogs host Bethel on Wednesday.
Mac (78) — Gurley 11, Bachura 11, Henson 10, Raleigh 8, Rowell 6, Crook 22, Munsey 6, Butler 2, O’Hara 2.
Wesleyan (79) — Alexander 20, Lawrence 16, Jack 11, Everett 8, Martin 5, Feickert 11, Bowers 5, Davis 3.
• OKLAHOMA WESLEYAN WOMEN 67, MAC 57 — The Bulldogs could not complete the season sweep as a 38-27 halftime deficit proved to be too much to overcome.
Mac did claw back as close as 4 in the second half, but the Eagles made just enough plays to win.
Not normally a team that takes a lot of 3-pointers, the Bulldogs made most of their baskets from beyond the mark with a season-high 13, but had only 19 field goals in the game.
Cami Richardson was again terrific for the Bulldogs with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists as she continues to rank among the best, if not the best, freshman in the KCAC.
RJ Kuhn came off the bench for a career-high 11 points. While not scoring, Brooke Zimmerman made an impact by pulling down 11 rebounds.
Mac had no answer for Shelbie Kirby, who scored 23 points and made 5 3-pointers. Southwestern transfer Tiffany Rieger added 16.
The Bulldogs are home Wednesday to take on Bethel, which is winless in KCAC play. The Threshers, however took the Bulldogs into overtime in the first meeting.
Mac (57) — Richardson 17, Coe 8, Battle 7, Holt 2, Kuhn 11, Gonzalez 9, Racette 3.
Wesleyan (67) — Kirby 23, Rieger 16, Gitua 7, Merchant 1, Been 11, Short 5, Morgan 2, Pospichal 2.