It’s too bad McPherson College’s women’s basketball team is running out of season.
The Bulldogs are playing their best basketball of the year, but only have two games remaining as they’re out of the KCAC playoff race.
Mac gave Bethany College and Avila a gift on Saturday with a stunning 74-50 rout of Ottawa after it had led just 26-22 at the half.
Ottawa had entered the night one game behind Bethany and Avila for the final spot in the KCAC playoff race, but is now two games back and most likely out of the running.
The Bulldogs played remarkable defense as the Braves made only five field goals in both halves and had just 10 for the game in 36 attempts. The Bulldogs’ press forced a whopping 24 turnovers, one reason Mac had a 67-36 advantage in field goal attempts.
“I thought this whole semester, this whole second part of the season, we’re really playing well,” said first-year Mac coach Josh Nichols, whose team has won four of its last five games. “Most of the times we’ve lost, we’ve been in there and fought hard. That’s what I’m asking them to do. I wish we could take a few games back (that they let get away) and have about 10 left to go.”
Elle Gillen came off the bench to again light a fire under the offense, making five 3-pointers for 15 points. Aysa Tims tallied 12 and Brittany Roberts had another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
McPherson had 37 points off the bench and the reserves brought a lot of energy, especially defensively.
Mac is now 7-15 in the KCAC and 11-17 overall. Remember, it had to forfeit two games earlier this season for an academic technicality. It plays a makeup game on Monday at Saint Mary before closing out the season at home Saturday against Bethel.
Mac (74) — Holt 4, Roberts 10, Tims 12, Raimondi 7, DeLuca 4, Harlow 9, Mikulski 6, Potter 2, Gillen 15, Moseley 5.
Ottawa (50) — Grizzle 7, Nachbar 6, Kramer 6, Hendricks 1, Hughes 6, McAvoy 8, Barron 2, Anthony 3, Rose 8, Stark 2, Riffle 1.
• OTTAWA MEN 104, MAC 103, OT — The last time the teams played, the Braves overcame a 20-point deficit with 10 minutes go to to stun the Bulldogs.
This time the deficit was 16, 78-62, with 6 minutes left. But again the Braves found a way.
The Bulldogs felt like they literally gave this one away, up 10 with 3 minutes to go. But a passel of turnovers, especially on in-bounds plays where they couldn’t get the ball in, led to the Braves’ comeback.
Mac led only once in the overtime and again, turnovers were haunting for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs, who have now lost 6 of 7, are 6-16 in the KCAC and 10-17 overall as they haven’t had the second-half kick they were hoping for.
Fred Watts came off the bench for 21 points and Josh Rivers added 19. Careino Gurley had a career-high 17, including 9 of 10 at the line.
Isaiah Palmer scored 26 points for OU and had 12 rebounds. Daryl Bowie tallied 19 points, Ryan Haskins had 15, and Tasmania Jones and Mason McDow added 10.
Mac heads to Saint Mary on Monday, then closes out the season Saturday hosting Bethel.
Mac (103) — Magot 8, Gurley 17, Rivers 19, Ellison 5, Hightower 7, Barideaux 8, Owen 8, Oxford 8, Munsen 2, Watts 21.
Ottawa (104) — Jones 10, Haskins 15, Griesen 9, Mallory 1, Palmer 26, Bowie 19, Baldeh 6, Patrick 8, McDow 10.