LINDSBORG — Look who’s on top of the KCAC women’s basketball standings.
OK, it might be just one game and they’re sharing the lead with four other teams. But for now, the McPherson College Bulldogs are in first place.
The Bulldogs, who entered Thursday’s game with county rival Bethany with a 1-9 record, used a strong finish at Hahn Gym to outlast the Swedes, 74-68.
Mac trailed 63-62 with 4:15 to go, but finished the game on a 12-5 run, keyed by the unsinkable Bailey Brown. She scored six points during that final push and finished the game with 21.
Bethany actually controlled the game for the most part. The Swedes were up as much as seven in the first half before Mac closed fast to trail only 33-30.
The second half was close all the way. The Swedes had a three-point lead as late as 7:06 to go, 61-58, but Mac’s teamwork overcame the individual efforts of the Swedes’ Adriane Davis and Royce Shields. Bethany hurt its cause down the stretch with some questionable shot selection as it basically went 1-on-1 in crunch time.
Sunny Smart added 16 points for the Bulldogs and Alicia Demerat was huge on the inside with 10 points and 17 rebounds. Mac used its size to its advantage, pulling down 50 rebounds to just 32 for the Swedes. The Bulldogs were able to overcome 24 turnovers for the win.
Davis led the Swedes with 18 points, but needed 19 shots. Shields scored 15 and Alex Brammer came off the bench for 13.
Mac is now 2-9 overall and stays on the road Saturday to play Bethel. The Threshers lost their KCAC opener 52-45 to Saint Mary on Thursday. The Swedes, now 1-8 overall, play Saturday at Ottawa. The Braves were a 67-58 winner over Sterling on Thursday.
Mac (74) — Atkins 8, Demerat 10, Brown 21, S. Smart 16, Abra 8, G. Smart 6, Acklin 5.
Bethany (68) — Ohlschwager 5, Davis 18, Gamboa 5, Shields 15, Shetlar 4, Norton 2, Brammer 13, Arnold 4, O’Connor 2.