It was just a case where all McPherson College’s women could do was tip their cap to Dakota State’s Kylie Westover.
Up 53-52 in the closing seconds here Friday, the Bulldogs played solid defense to force Westover into an off-balanced 18-footer that rattled in just before the buzzer blasted to lift the Trojans to a 54-53 victory in the McPherson College January Classic at the Sport Center.
"… I told the girls they deserved to win that game because we did everything right and she (Westover) made a really top fadeaway shot to win it for them as the buzzer sounded," Mac coach Gordon Reimer said. "We forced them to take the shot we wanted them to."
The Bulldogs are now under the .500 mark at 7-8 and will try to get level Saturday when they take on Haskell at 4 p.m.
Westover’s basket spoiled a nice comeback by the Bulldogs, who had trailed by 10 points midway through the second half before staging a rally to catch, and eventually pass, the Trojans.
"They battle all the way through to the very end," Reimer said of the Bulldogs. "They understand that. Ten points in college basketball is nothing because you have a shot clock and it's just a couple of two or three possessions and all of a sudden it changes."
Bailey Brown’s basket with 23 seconds left gave the Bulldogs a 53-52 lead. Dakota State went for the final shot and the Trojans had to scramble after some good Mac defense. Westover found the ball in her hands and hit the tough fadeaway for the winner.
Aubrey Barton was the only Bulldog in double figures with 15 points. Callie Atkins gave Mac a nice lift off the bench with nine points, all coming on 3-pointers. Two of those treys came back-to-back when Mac was making its comeback.
Westover was the only Dakota State player in twins with 16 points.
Mac (53) — Gillespie 6, Barton 15, Brown 8, Short 4, White 5, Smart 6, Atkins 9.
Dakota State (54) — Westover 16, Olson 5, Munson 2, Rabenberg 5, Drooger 9, Lindblad 8, Jacobson 4, Galbraith 5.