NORTH NEWTON — It was the week the McPherson College men had to have.
After beating Southwestern on Thursday at the Sport Center, the Bulldogs did not look past winless Bethel on the road Saturday, pulling away for a 73-48 rout.
The Bulldogs are now 4-6 in the KCAC and leveled their overall record at 11-11. They have a huge week coming up, playing conference powers Saint Mary on Wednesday at the Sport Center, then going to Sterling on Saturday.
The Bulldogs broke out to a 14-p0int lead in the first half, only to see Bethel rally within 29-24 at the break. But Mac’s sheer talent advantage took over in the second half, as the Bulldogs outscored the Threshers by nearly 20 points.
The nonrelated Johnsons had double-doubles for Mac, with Brian scoring 21 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, while Devirous had 13 points and a whopping 20 rebounds, as he entered the game leading the nation in that category.
DeWayne Canady led the hapless Threshers with 13 points. Mac had a 53-37 rebounding advantage and held the Threshers to 20 of 70 from the field.
Mac (73) — Powers 9, D. Johnson 13, Shivers 8, B. Johnson 21, Berry 1, Grant 6, DeRoo 9, Woods 2, Clay 4.
Bethel (48) — Packard 7, Jones 4, Wright 2, Canady 13, Ford 6, Hill 2, Kingsley 4, Hett 6, Jones 1, Smith 3.
• BETHEL WOMEN 74, MAC 69 — The Bulldogs let a double-digit lead get away in the second half as their losing streak has reached nine.
Mac is now 3-7 in the KCAC and 7-15 overall.
The Bulldogs were their own worst enemy, making only 24 of 37 free throws despite Aubrey Barton being 11 of 13, which keyed her 23-point, 11-rebound effort.
Bailey Brown scored 14 points for Mac and Cami Engelbert added 11. Mac was 1 of 16 from 3-point, probably the biggest reason for its loss. Lauren Ulrich scored 19 for Bethel, April Harpe added 17 and Taylor Durant scored 16.
Mac is now just a game ahead of ninth-place Saint Mary. The Bulldogs host the Spires Wednesday as they attempt to sweep the season series.
Mac (69) — Barton 23, Engelbert 11, Gillespie 8, Brown 14, Short 9, Smart 3, Atkins 1.
Bethel (74) — Durant 16, Ebenkamp 2, Ulrich 19, Wilkerson 2, Harpe 17, Regier 9, Zerger 5, Tschetter 4.