Mac men back in action tonight in Iowa

By Steve Sell
December 29, 2014

McPherson College men’s basketball coach Tim Swartzendruber has never been shy about scheduling up in competition.

You won’t find any patsies to pad the record. Swartzendruber believes it doesn’t do the Bulldogs any good to play teams that would result in little more than a glorified scrimmage.

But he’s really given the Bulldogs a challenge today and Tuesday in the Morningside Holiday Classic in Sioux City, Iowa.

Mac, which hasn’t played since Dec. 16, plays host Morningside College at 7:30 p.m. today, then goes up against Briar Cliff at 3 p.m. Saturday. Neither game will be broadcast.

The Bulldogs are 4-9 while Morningside is 10-2. The Mustangs are led by prolific guard Steve O’Neill, who has been pouring in 20 points a game. Morningside is a high-scoring team with four players averaging in double figures while a fifth averages 9.3.

On Saturday, Mac goes up against a Briar Cliff team that has an outstanding 12-3 record. The Chargers are led by 5-11 guard Shane Graves, who scores 13 points a game.

McPherson College got off to a 3-1 start, but since has lost eight of its last nine, the exception being a 104-101 road upset of KCAC quad-leader Bethany College. The Bulldogs have been paced by 6-5 senior forward Darius Hill, who is putting together an All-KCAC type of season by averaging 18.2 points and 9.4 rebounds.

After this weekend, Mac makes one more pre-KCAC tuneup when it plays Saturday at Baker. The Bulldogs, 1-3 in the KCAC, return to conference play Jan. 8 at Sterling.