Double disaster for Bulldogs

By Steve Sell
December 12, 2014
McPherson College Sports Information

Kansas Wesleyan's men basically were embarrassed in their first two KCAC games of the season.

Thursday night at the Sport Center, it was the McPherson College Bulldogs who were seeing red.

The Bulldogs, after leading by one at the half, were at one stage down 21 points in the second half to the struggling Coyotes before making a late charge to make it respectable at the end, 68-60.

The Bulldogs in no way resembled the team that just seven days earlier had knocked off nationally ranked Bethany on its home floor. They had to finish with a flourish just to get to 31 percent shooting from the field and at one point were at 23. In all three of their home games, they inexplicably have shot 35 percent or less.

"It's disappointing, it really is," said Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber, who tried just about everything to jump-start the moribund offense. "We were 10 of 33 from 3 (point). We just didn't do a good job of getting the ball inside."

Darius Hill, Mac's top inside threat who came in averaging just under 19 points a game, was limited to six field goal attempts and seven points. DeAndre Henson's 22 points topped the Bulldogs, while T.J. Grant and Aaron Bachura scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Mac started fast, up 19-7 just 8 minutes into the game. But it scored only six points over the final 12 minutes as Wesleyan's active zone was flummoxing. The Coyotes then left the Bulldogs in the dust in the second half as the more Mac missed, the tighter it seemed to get.

Keion Criswell led four Coyotes in double figures with 15 points. KW was coming off an 88-59 loss to Saint Mary after losing the game before to Friends, 94-53.

The Bulldogs, now 1-2 in the KCAC with both losses to teams that before the season were expected to finish below them, host Tabor on Saturday. They are 4-8 overall.

Mac (60) — Hill 7, Henson 22, Grant 13, Crook 4, Bachura 12, Martinez 2.

KW (68) — Lunz 11, M. Johnson 14, Criswell 15, D. Johnson 13, Edwards 6, Moss 3, Roth 4, Neri 2.

• Kansas Wesleyan women 76, McPherson College 40  — It may have been the most nightmarish start to a game that Bulldog coach Gordon Reimer had ever experienced.

Nine minutes in, the Bulldogs were 1 of 11 from the field and had turned the ball over a whopping 12 times.

Down 19-3, the Bulldogs did start to play better, but the early deficit was too much to overcome.

Mac trailed 30-18 at the half and KW then socked the Bulldogs with a 24-4 blitz to start the second half. The Coyotes, surprisingly, continued their fullcourt press until the margin reached 36 with 7 minutes left in the game.

"The first half was just terrible," Reimer said. "Fifteen turnovers. That's all I talked about at half. It thought we did a better job in the second half. Until we learn to take care of the basketball we're going to be on the wrong end of this."

Freshman post Alicia Demerat was a bright spot for the Bulldogs with 14 points. The normally reliable duo of Bailey Brown and Sunny Smart combined to go 3 of 16 from the field and Mac as a team was just 14 of 53, 2 of 21 from 3-point.

Katie Pfeifer came off the bench to make all seven of her 3-point attempts for 21 points. Also in double figures for the Coyotes were Vanessa Kresin (12) and Kora Bergstrom (11).

The Bulldogs finished with a staggering 24 turnovers as they continued their season-long ballhandling woes.

Mac, now 1-2 in the KCAC and 2-11 overall, wraps up the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule Saturday hosting Tabor.

Mac (40) — Atkins 1, Demerat 14, Brown 9, Bryant 3, Abra 1, G. Smart 5, Tejero 3, Acklin 4.

KW (76) — Kresin 12, Patton 4, Heim 5, Steinle 9, LeShore 7, Wilson 2, Pfeifer 21, Lewis 2, Farris 3, Bergstrom 11.