County rivals meet here Thursday

By Steve Sell
February 19, 2014
McPherson College Sports Information

McPherson College’s men are hoping to deal the double rivalry whammy to Bethany College here Thursday on Senior Night.

The Bulldogs make their final Sport Center appearance of the season when they host the Swedes, with game time set for 8 p.m., with a women’s game at 6.

KBBE FM 96.7 coverage begins at 5:45.

The Bulldogs are an underdog against the Swedes, but Bethany is coming off a shocking 91-81 home loss to lowly arch-rival Kansas Wesleyan, a setback that most likely cost them any chance at their first KCAC title in 24 years.

Mac is 6-10 in the KCAC and 13-15 overall. It needs wins Thursday and on the road Saturday at Southwestern to finish at .500 for the regular season.

Bethany, which was in control of its own destiny just a couple of weeks ago, has faded to 11-5 in the KCAC, two games back of co-leaders Friends and Sterling. The best the 18-9 Swedes can do is a share of the title and they would need an inordinate amount of help to do that.

Emotions figure to run high. The Bulldogs’ Samson Shivers broke the school’s all-time scoring record on Saturday against Ottawa and he’ll be among the seniors playing at home for the last time, a career that has included three straight trips to the NAIA National Tournament.

Bethany, of course, features the amazing Idris IbnIdris, who is No. 2 in the nation in scoring and recently poured in 42 points against Friends. IbnIdris could very well be a first-team All-American, as his game actually translates at a higher level and the Swedes probably thank their lucky stars every day that he fell into their lap.

The women’s game could have important ramifications. The Bulldogs are 5-11 in the KCAC and 9-19 overall. A win and they’re in the postseason tournament.

The Swedes are 3-13 in the KCAC and 5-23 overall, as they continue to hang on to a thread of perhaps making the playoffs. One of the Swedes’ KCAC wins came against the Bulldogs last month at Hahn Gym.