Mac women nearly pull off upset

By Steve Sell
November 22, 2014

For a half Saturday afternoon, McPherson College’s women looked like a different basketball team.

The Bulldogs, who were pummeled on Friday by York College, were making shots and playing airtight defense against Haskell, a team they had lost to by 20 points in their season opener and possessors of a sterling 7-1 record.

But the snooze alarm went off for the Indians in the second half, as they stormed back for a 56-51 victory in the final day of the McPherson College Classic.

The Bulldogs, now 1-8, play their final game before the start of conference play when they host Oklahoma Wesleyan on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs rode the hot shooting of Sunny Smart for a 34-25 halftime lead as she made four bombs for 12 points. Mac was up as much as 12 and did a great job of defending the 3-point line as the normally effective Indians were just 0 of 8.

But turnovers, a season-long bugaboo, reared their ugly head after the break as Mac couldn’t protect its lead as it tossed it away 15 times. Mac was up 37-27 when it seemingly turned the ball over every single possession while the Indians started to find the range offensively. In fact, the Bulldogs had 14 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the second half, during which time they were able to get off only five field goal attempts.

"We lost our composure in the second half and that was really the difference in the ballgame" Mac coach Gordon Reimer said. "We've got to be focused for 40 minutes not just 20."

Bailey Brown led the Bulldogs with 18 points, while Smart finished with a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The rest of the Bulldogs combined for just 18 points.

"I thought our effort was extremely good tonight," Reimer said. "I really like this team and how hard they played in this game, coming back from that (game) yesterday."

Keli Warrior led the Warriors, who own a victory over KCAC preseason favorite Southwestern, with 19 points.

Mac (51) — Brown 18, S. Smart 15, Atkins 8, Jefferson 4, Demerat 3, Abra 2, G. Smart 1.

Haskell (56) — Meat 10, Coriz 6, Stands 2, Warrior 19, Begay 6, Murphy 6, Williams 7.