Bethany men, women rally to defeat Bulldogs

By Steve Sell
January 18, 2018
McPherson College Sports Information file photo

Depending on your point of view, it was one of the greatest comebacks of all time or one of the biggest collapses of all time.

In one of the craziest games in Sport Center history, Bethany College’s men scored 85 points after halftime — 61 in the second half and a wild 24 in the overtime — to rally for a 109-100 victory over McPherson College in a spirited game that matched the KCAC’s bottom two teams.

Mac led 44-24 at the half as the Bulldogs turned it over just 3 times and the Swedes didn’t appear to have shown up.

But Bethany amazingly scored 28 points off turnovers after halftime as the Bulldogs hit the panic button as the lead kept dwindling.

The Swedes made it all the way back by tying the game at 78-all with 2:26 to go. In the final 14 seconds of regulation, the Bulldogs had an 84-82 lead, but then missed 3 of 4 free throws. They were up 85-82 and elected to foul Tyler Larkin with 5.9 seconds left and he made both to slice the lead to one. Mac again turned it over and the Swedes’ Michael Simpson was fouled, making 1 of 2 to force overtime.

It was all Swedes in the OT as they rolled up 24 points, including 8 of 8 at the foul line.

Larkin scored 31 points for the Swedes, while reserve Reed Stephens keyed the comeback with 6 3-pointers and scored 23. Isiah Saenz came off the bench for 13 and provided a spark with his flashy ballhandling, while Thomas Hood scored 12.

Aaron Bachura had a double-double for Mac with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Garrett Owen and Jeffrey Oxford scored 16 apiece, Taylor Ellison had 14 off the bench and Fred Watts had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Mac is now 1-12 in the KCAC and 4-17 overall. It is home on Saturday to take on Tabor. Bethany is 3-10 in the KCAC and 7-14 overall. The Swedes host Kansas Wesleyan on Saturday.

Mac (100) — Bachura 30, Owen 16, Oxford 16, Watts 11, Munsen 2, Ellison 14, Magot 9, Barideaux 2.

Bethany (109) — Larkin 31, Hood 12, Brown 7, Kelly 4, Chazelas 4, Saenz 13, Stephens 23, Patrick 8, Simpson 3, Cahrles 2, Milosevic 2.

• BETHANY WOMEN 64, MAC 56 — Maybe a harbinger of things to come occurred in the women’s game as the Bulldogs had a 7-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to see the Swedes finish the game with a 26-13 run.

Bethany star Lauren Welsch was held to 8 points through three quarters, but scored 12 in the final period to finish with 20. Sydney Ahaneku had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Sarah Bartel scored 10.

Mac made only 2 of 18 shots in the fourth quarter and was just 17 of 66 for the game.

Cami Richardson scored 18 points in the first half and finished with 24, but took only two shots in the second half. Brittany Roberts had a powerful rebounding game with 14.

Mac is now 6-7 in the KCAC and 10-10 overall heading into a home game with Tabor on Saturday. Bethany keeps moving up the KCAC ladder at it’s now 8-5 in the conference, 12-8 overall, with a huge game at home Saturday against Kansas Wesleyan.

Mac (56) — Holt 2, Roberts 8, VanDonselaar 8, Coe 8, Richardson 24, Olvera 2, Racette 4.

Bethany (64) — Enns 2, Ahaneku 11, Bartel 10, Pope 9, Welsch 20, Hendrickson 4, Miller 8.