County basketball showdown Saturday in Lindsborg

By Steve Sell
January 17, 2014

Somebody is going to be happy for the first time this year on Saturday.

McPherson College’s women and Bethany College meet in Lindsborg, both looking for their first win of 2014.

Game time at Hahn Gym is 5 p.m., with coverage on 96.7 KBBE FM starting at 4:45.

The Mac women were 3-1 in the KCAC and 7-6 overall going into the Christmas break to qualify as the KCAC’s surprise team as they were picked to finish in last. But the air has gone out of the balloon as the Bulldogs have dipped to 3-4 in the KCAC, 7-12 overall. A lack of offense has been the downfall, as the Bulldogs are struggling to post 50 points a game since the turn of the calendar.

Meanwhile, there never was any air in the Bethany balloon, except after three games when the Swedes were 2-1. Since then it’s been 16 straight losses, seven of those coming in KCAC play as they are in last place. However, they have to believe this is their best shot in a while to get a win and figure to come out inspired.

Bethany will be the favorite in the 7 p.m. men’s game. The Swedes can’t afford another KCAC loss, considering the level the Friends Falcons are playing. Friends is 7-0 in the conference and Bethany is a game back at 6-1, the only loss coming last week to the Falcons.

McPherson College is scuffling at 2-5 in the KCAC, but it lost by six points to Tabor, four points to Sterling in overtime and four points Thursday night to Ottawa. It continues to play everybody close, but shoddy free throw work has led to some of their troubles, including 15 of 28 against Ottawa.

A victory and the Bulldogs would climb back to the .500 mark overall at 10-10.

Bethany is an offensive machine and the Bulldogs have to find some way to control the mercurial Idris IbnIdris, who averages 27 points a game but was held to 12 Thursday by Kansas Wesleyan due in part to foul trouble. Kirby Hawkins is the top sixth man in the KCAC, as he steps on the floor firing.