McPherson College’s women ended their numbing nine-game losing streak here Wednesday night.
Emphatically, in fact.
After spotting Saint Mary an 8-2 lead, the Bulldogs roared back with a near-perfect 16 minutes for a 41-16 halftime lead and went on for a 64-45 victory.
"It's nice to be back home and hit some shots," said Mac coach Gordon Reimer, whose Bulldogs shot it really well in the first half before cooling off. "We had struggled some lately making some shots, but the game goes a lot better when you put the ball in the basket."
Mac had not won since Dec. 12 when it defeated Sterling, 76-63. It is now 4-7 in the KCAC and has a little more of a cushion for making the playoffs, as the top eight teams get in. Saint Mary (2-9) and Bethany (1-10) occupy the Nos. 9 and 10 spots. Mac actually is three games up on both teams, since it owns the tiebreaker over the Spires because it swept the season series.
"I've liked our attitude and how we've played," Reimer said. "They're right in every game. They just kind of get unlucky at times. I like the way this team is progressing and I think if they keep playing, good things are going to happen."
Saint Mary made its first two 3-pointers, but then clanked 14 in a row from beyond the arc the rest of the half as the Bulldogs scored 39 of the last 47 points, including a 10-0 sizz to close it out.
"That's the way they've gone all year," Reimer said of Saint Mary shooting from beyond the arc as it went on to finish an ego-sapping 5 of 37. "They're a 3-point shooting team and they live and die by that."
Callie Atkins gave Mac a nice spark with 10 points off the bench in the first 20 minutes and Chandler Short also provided some key work off the pine with nine as the bench scored 22 points before the break.
"Callie came in and had an excellent game," Reimer said. "That's the best game she's had all year and it's nice to see a freshman step up and contribute."
The Bulldogs lost some of their focus in the second half, but the Spires continued to fire away from 3-point with futile results. Mac led by as many as 30 before slogging through the final 10 minutes.
Bailey Brown led Mac with 13 points, Short scored 12 and Atkins contributed 10. Saint Mary's Korbynn Stallbaumer led all scorers with 16.
Mac, now 8-15 overall, goes on the road Saturday to Sterling.
Mac (64) — Barton 4, Engelbert 6, Gillespie 7, Brown 13, Jefferson 3, Short 12, Smart 9, Atkins 10.
Saint Mary (45) — Palmer 3, Marusak 3, Brown 4, Harmon 10, Stallbaumer 16, Frantz 3, VanNess 4, Valvidar 2.