Mac cagers split with OW

By Steve Sell
November 16, 2017
McPherson College Sports Information file photo

When Gordon Reimer was the women’s basketball coach at Kansas Wesleyan, it was his fifth year when it all came together for the Coyotes.

His team won 27 games that year, 22 the following year and then went 31-4 the year after that.

Reimer is now in his fifth year at McPherson College. In his previous four, the Bulldogs averaged 10 wins a year.

But just like at KW, it may be coming together for the Bulldogs in his fifth year.

Mac opened KCAC play here Wednesday with a 91-84 upset of previously undefeated Oklahoma Wesleyan and moved to 5-1 overall.

“That was a big win,” Reimer said. “They were better than what I expected. I was going off from what I saw in their non-conference games. They shoot the ball very well. They hit some big 3s in the third quarter, but we made some adjustments in the fourth quarter and it made a difference.”

The Bulldogs trailed 20-18 after a quarter and went down 42-36 at the half. But with Brooklyn Coe on fire in the third quarter, Mac pulled within 68-67 by period’s end.

Coe had 17 of her 23 points in the period. That momentum carried over into the final quarter as the Bulldogs scored the first seven points and maintained the lead the rest of the way.

Kristina Battle added 16 points for Mac, which also received 35 points from its bench. Freshman Brittany Roberts, out the first five games with a knee injury, made an impact with 9 points and 6 rebounds. Brooke Racette also scored 9 points and Maressah Milum added 8.

Wesleyan made 10 of 34 shots from 3-point, but was 0 of 8 in the final period. Tiffany Rieger led OW with 18 points and Mary Hutchins added 17.

Mac has a huge game on Saturday when it goes to Hillsboro to take on KCAC preseason favorite Tabor.

Mac (91) — Holt 2, Battle 16, White 7, Coe 23, Richardson 8, Olvera 3, Milum 8, Abunaja 3, Racette 9, Zimmerman 3, Roberts 9.

OW (84) — Goodwin 13, Pospichal 1, Rieger 18, Hutchins 17, Short 11, Been 16, Merchant 3, Strong 2, Gitau 3.

• OKLAHOMA WESLEYAN MEN 82, MAC 66 — KCAC coaches and the media might have missed the boat on the Eagles, who are starting to look like the team to beat in the conference.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is now 7-1 after pulling away from the Bulldogs in the second half.

Mac started the second half on a 12-4 rip to take a 42-39 lead, but once again had one of those offensive outages that has plagued it all year during a 1-4 start. It was a 21-point turnaround as the Eagles went from 3 down to 18 up.

“They’re very good,” Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said. “They’re very talented. He (OW coach Donnie Bostwick) brought from some players with him from SAGU (Southwestern Assemblies of God) that are really good. They did what their game plan is, get up and down the court, shoot it and crash the boards.”

In the first half, the Eagles had a whopping 29-12 rebounding advantage, but it was much closer in the second half.

But the Bulldogs continued their struggles from the field, making just 39 percent compared to 49 for OW.

“We’ve just got to shoot the ball better, it’s as simple as that,” Swatzendruber said.

Louis Parker III provided the Bulldogs a spark off the bench with 21 points, making 9 of 13 shots. But the rest of the team was 15 of 48.

Garrett Owen added 12 and Fred Watts Jr. tallied 10.

Brieman Alexander, perhaps the best player in the KCAC, scored 21, 17 of those in the first half. Jonathan Jackson added 10.

Mac plays Saturday at Tabor, with tip time 7 p.m. in Hillsboro.

Mac (66) — Gurley 2, Watts 10, Owen 12, Bachura 7, Raleigh 7, Oxford 1, Parker III 21, Carter 6.

OW (82) — Alexander 21, Lawrence 5, Malveau 9, Murphy 4, Hamilton 2, Brackens 2, McKelphin 3, Harris 6, Beck 4, Feickert 3, Achbar 4, Rowe 9, Jackson 10.