The script is practically the same every game for McPherson College’s women.
Great start. Horrible cold stretch. Another loss.
This time the Bulldogs played a terrific 10 minutes to start their game with defending KCAC champion Southwestern here Thursday, then it all went wrong.
The Bulldogs sprinted to a 20-12 lead in the first 10 minutes, but Southwestern unfurled a barrage of 3-pointers that led to a 29-10 run and 41-30 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Moundbuilders methodically picked the Bulldogs apart for an 81-48 victory, their fifth straight in the KCAC after starting conference play with two losses. They are a game back of co-leaders Friends and Tabor.
"That first 10 minutes was as good of basketball as I've seen this team play," said Mac coach Gordon Reimer, whose team fell to 2-17 and hasn't won since its KCAC opener against Bethany. "We just lose our focus. We can't seem to play 20 minutes or two halves and keep that focus maintained."
The Bulldogs are now 1-6 in the KCAC with the unenviable task of playing at nationally ranked Friends on Saturday.
Bailey Brown and Georgia Smart got the Bulldogs off to their super start, but the savvy Builders never panicked and started raining 3-pointers. Their defense then held the Bulldogs to just nine points in the first 13 minutes of the second half.
Brown once again played her heart out with 15 points and toiled heavy minutes as she has to rank among the top players in the country in minutes played. Smart was very active on the inside with 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Hot-shooting Tiffany Rieger led four Builders in double figures with 17 points. The Moundbuilders made nine 3-pointers to just two for Mac, a 21-point differential. Southwestern dominated the glass with a 44-31 rebounding advantage.
Mac (48) — Atkins 8, Demaret 7, Brown 15, S. Smart 2, G. Smart 12, Acklin 2, Abra 2.
Southwestern (81) — Rickey 10, Reichenberger 11, Rieger 17, Jo. Hobbs 11, Cramner 3, Je. Hobbs 2, Bleumer 5, Demel 3, Lovell 2, Taylor 3, Myers 5, Miller 9.