McPherson College’s women won only one of four quarters here Saturday afternoon against Ottawa.
As it turned out, one was enough.
After a miserable first half in which they shot just 29 percent and trailed 26-18, it was as if a different Mac team came out in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs, after making just 7 of 24 shots in the first half, hit 10 of 13 in the third quarter and outscored the Braves 26-8, propelling them to a 61-51 victory at the Sport Center.
Mac is now 4-3 in the KCAC with a good chance to get to 5-3 on Tuesday when it hosts York College, which is 1-6 in conference play.
The Bulldogs ramped up the fullcourt pressure in the third quarter and speeding up the game got the Braves out of their comfort zone.
“We needed to score, we weren’t getting anything done at all,” said Mac coach Gordon Reimer as the Bulldogs improved to 8-4 overall. “It was a slow game. So we decided to go back to the press and a zone and try to speed them up. They took quick shots and it worked.”
Mac wound up burying 14 of 20 shots after the break and after not getting to the foul line in the first half, the Bulldogs were 13 of 17 after intermission, including 6 of 6 by Cami Richardson and 4 of 4 by Maressah Milum, whose toughness on defense helped set the tone. Also, Danielle Holt hustled to 11 rebounds for the game and Mac had a stretch where it had four offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive.
“Danielle had only three rebounds at half and finished with 11,” Reimer said. “There were some key rebounds by her and (Brooklyn) Coe in the second half.”
Richardson scored 21 as she was more offensive-minded, reminiscent of her play last year when she was the KCAC’s Freshman of the Year. With more weapons on the team this year, she has not been looking to score as much, but on this night she was aggressive.
Coe added 15 points, 12 of those in the second half.
Mac (61) — Holt 3, Milum 8, White 2, Coe 15, Richardson 21, Olvera 3, VanDonselaar 5, Racette 2, Zimmerman 2.
Ottawa (51) — Speer 10, King 11, Lewman 2, Hendricks 2, Hughes 5, McAvoy 9, Kramer 5, Anthony 7.
• OTTAWA MEN 94, MAC 86 — The Bulldogs, for the second time this week, were right there with one of the KCAC’s top teams, only to give up a late run to lose their 10th straight game and remain winless in the KCAC.
Tied at 69-all with 6:53 to go, the Braves broke away on a 12-1 run and Mac did get as close as 3 before the Braves put it away at the foul line.
This was one of Mac’s best efforts of the year.
Garrett Owen scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half to lead the Bulldogs and Aaron Bachura scored 18 of his 20 after the break as he was saddled with first-half foul trouble.
Fred Watts contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds for the Bulldogs and Louis Parker III came off the bench for 10 points.
But it was the littlest player on the floor who made the biggest impact. OU point guard Hollis Mitchell again was a Bulldog killer as the darting 5-9 point guard scored 34 points, including 10 of 10 at the line, to lead the Braves.
“For whatever reason we just have that little stretch where we don’t do well,” Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said, referring to the 12-1 run. “Our guys know it. We talk about it. We work on it. It’s like the other night at Friends, the score is tied with 2:45 to go and they go on a 13-0 run. Tonight we were playing well. Once they got about a 2- to 4-point lead we kind of panicked and took a couple of bad shots.”
Mac, 0-7 in the KCAC and 1-11 overall, is home on Tuesday to take on York College, which a matchup that often produces a ton of points by both teams. Game time has been moved up to 7 p.m., with the women at 5.
Mac (86) — Bachura 20, Munsen 8, Owen 23, Raleigh 6, Watts 15, Oxford 4, Parker II 10.
Ottawa (94) — Griesen 9, Jones 15, Mitchell 34, Palmer 11, Rice 15, Hansen 8, Patrick 2.