Bulldogs let second-half lead get away in 77-67 loss

By Steve Sell
November 22, 2014

Sooner or later, the Haskell men had to beat somebody.

Unfortunately for the McPherson College Bulldogs, they were the Indians' first victim after eight straight losses.

The Bulldogs couldn't stand the good fortune of a seven-point lead midway through the second half and Haskell rallied for a 77-67 victory in the final game of the McPherson College Classic.

The Bulldogs had defeated the Indians by 13 points on the road earlier in the season, but they have hit a period of regression.

The suddenly slumping 'Dogs have now lost three in a row after a 3-1 start. They head off to Nebraska next week for a pair of games.

For the second straight game, the Bulldogs stumbled at the end getting some defensive stops as it was another frustrating loss.

"That was disappointing," Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said. "We got up 48-41 and we had the momentum. I thought things were going well. But we just did not make shots. That to me is the most puzzling thing. We shot 35 percent on our home floor. We've had two days in a row where we have not made shots. Up until this time, that has been the strength of this team."

The Bulldogs were fortunate to be down only 33-32 at the half as they shot just 14 of 39 from the field — 1 of 9 from 3-point — and just 3 of 7 from the line. But they stayed in the game by winning the battle of the boards and turning it over only six times.

Down 38-36, the Bulldogs went on a 3-point-flavored 10-3 run to take a 48-41 lead. But their defense was torched in the final 10 minutes and their shot selection was suspect.

Darius Hill led Mac with 14 points, one more than Chris Crook, who brought a lot of energy off the bench with his hustle. T.J. Grant scored 11 and Page Beeler came up with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Randy July led Haskell with 21 points, while Stand Lovato added 17.

Mac (67) — Henson 8, Grant 11, Beeler 10, Bevan 3, Bachura 3, Jolly 3, Crook 13, Martinez 2, Hill 14.

Haskell (77) — Lovato 17, July 21, Sequoyah 13, Middleton 3, Moudy 2, Bruns 10, Rudd 7, Turley 2, Nez 2.