STERLING — McPherson College’s men have to feel like they let one get away.
The Bulldogs led for the majority of their road game with Sterling on Thursday, but the Warriors’ Rolando Gardner scored with 6 seconds left to deal the Bulldogs a 71-70 dagger.
Mac fell to 1-4 in the KCAC while it was Sterling’s first conference win after four losses.
The Bulldogs led 70-69 when Kyle Lakin missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 12 seconds remaining. Sterling was able to get the ball to Gardner, who hadn’t been much of a scoring factor all night but he delivered.
Mac’s Chris Crook had a real good look at the game-winning shot, but it fell off and the Bulldogs sagged to 5-12 overall.
The Bulldogs led 38-32 at half and held the lead throughout the second half.
Mac lost despite its best game of the year from 3-point, making 12 of 24. But the Bulldogs were an atrocious 4 of 9 from the foul line.
The Bulldogs’ TJ Grant was sensational with 21 points, while Crook had a huge first half before ending with 16. Latron Jolly came off the bench for his best game of the year with 10.
The Bulldogs were bedeviled by Brandon Stacker, who scored 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
Mac is home for a 7 p.m. game Saturday against Ottawa.
Mac (70) — Grant 21, Crooks 16, Hill 9, Lakin 6, Jolly 10, Henson 8.
Sterling (71) — Stacker 27, Thompson 14, Smith 13, Gardner 7, Swank 4, Smith 2, Givins 2, Oyatayo 2
• Sterling women 91, Mac 64 — The Bulldogs could not stop high-scoring Sterling, which rolled to the easy win.
Mac is now 1-4 in the KCAC and 2-15 overall.
Bailey Brown and Zatorian Abra led Mac with 15 points apiece. Sunny Smart scored 12.
A couple of area products did the Bulldogs in. Little River grad Megan Stagner scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Smoky Valley grad Lori Dauer had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Hailey Davis added 15 points.
The Bulldogs host Ottawa at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Mac (64) — Brown 15, S. Smart 12, Atkins 5, Demaret 4, Jefferson 1, Abra 15, G. Smart 8, Acklin 4.
Sterling (91) — Dauer 18, Stagner 18, Davis 15, Waters 7, Greer 9, Strobel 8, Gasper 4, Santos 3, Sullen 3, Rivera 3, Colberg 2, Faul 1.