Whew! Bulldogs survive in double OT

By Steve Sell
January 04, 2014

It was a game that could have taken a wrecking ball to the McPherson College men’s basketball season.

In one of the wildest, craziest, most unpredictable games in recent Sport Center memory on Saturday, the Bulldogs finally outlasted Haskell 112-105 in double-overtime to put an end to a four-game losing streak and rekindle their fragile confidence.

This one was plain nuts. Brian Johnson’s free throw with 2.9 seconds left in regulation tied the game for Mac at 83-all, then late in the second overtime the Bulldogs appeared to have it won. With the game tied at 91 with 9.3 seconds left, the Indians’ TsaLiDi Sequoyah went to the line and missed both free throws, the second an airball. In his disgust, Sequoyah went to the bench and drop kicked a chair that went into the stands, which drew a technical foul. Samson Shivers made both free throws for a 93-91 lead, then was fould and made 1 of 2 for a 94-91 lead. But Haskell's Grant Proector hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force a second OT.

Mac, though, took advantage of the Indians’ depleted roster as four players had fouled out. The Bulldogs outscored the Indians 18-11 in the second session.

“Obviously we’re very excited to get the win,” said an exasperated Mac coach Tim Swartezndruber, whose team is now 8-8 overall. “I think, honestly, we outlasted them. When their big guys fouled out, I think that was a big key for us. They kept getting offensive rebounds (22 in all) and it was so frustrating. Their size (6-10, 6-8, 6-6) just really got to us inside.”

A way back when, the Bulldogs led by as many as 15 points in the first half before a late Haskell charge pulled it within 42-38. Most of the second half was spent trading baskets, though the Bulldogs were up 81-76 with 2:37 to go and couldn’t seal the deal before needing 10 extra minutes to finally secure the win.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Swartzendruber said. “We withstood it. I know you guys were thinking the same thing when that kid (Proctor) hit that 3 to send it into the second overtime and I’ve got a Sterling flashback (when Sterling hit a trey to tie the game, winning it in OT) and I’m going, ‘oh my goodness, no.’”

The game featured numerous amazing performances. Mac’s Brian Johnson totaled 36 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, Shivers scored 34 points, and Devirous Johnson added 26, along with 13 rebounds. The record book will have to be checked to see if it’s the first time Mac ever has had two players with more than 30 points in the same game.

Haskell had five players in double figures, led by Blake Pittman with 22. The Warriors ruled the glass with 49 rebounds to 37 for Mac.

Free throws were the difference as the Bulldogs canned 34 of 47 to 12 of 20 for the Indians.

Mac takes a 1-3 KCAC record to Hillsboro Thursday as it reboots its conference schedule.

Mac (112) — B. Johnson 36, Shivers 34, D. Johnson 26, Berry 3, Grant 9, Powers 4.

Haskell (105) — Proctor 19, Rousseau 17, Thompson 11, Sequoyah 10, Schneider 9, Pittman 22, Bruns 9, Lovato 6, Rudd 2.