LEAVENWORTH — If only McPherson College’s men had “held” Saint Mary’s Grant Greenberg to 29 points, it might have been a good night.
Instead, the Spires’ All-American burned the Bulldogs for 39 points, more than half of Saint Mary’s total in a 73-64 victory Wednesday night.
The hometown sophomore star made 15 of 20 floor shots and 6 of 7 free throws to single-handedly propel his team to the win.
“Grant Greenberg is the best player in the conference and one of the top players in the nation,” Mac coach Tim Swartzendruber said. “He was difficult to stop."
The Bulldogs were down 30-27 at the half and trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half before staging a rally that drew them as close as seven. But it was simply too much Greenberg, whose main help came from Jordan Thomas (14 points) and Lee Griffin (10). Only five players scored for the Spires.
The Bulldogs, who were without leading scorer Darius Hill, were led by Chris Crook with 14 points and TJ Grant added 13. The Bulldogs were close despite being ice-cold from the field (20 of 56, including 3 of 17 from 3-point).
Mac is now 2-7 in the KCAC and 6-15 overall. It is home on Saturday to play Bethany, a team it defeated 104-101 last month in the conference opener.
Mac (64) — Crook 14, Grant 13, Jolly 9, Henson 8, Beeler 6, Parker 8, Bevan 4, Berry 2.
Saint Mary (73) — Greenberg 39, Thomas 14, Griffin 10, Young 4, Clark 6.
• SAINT MARY WOMEN 66, MAC 61 — The Bulldogs erased a 14-point halftime Spire lead to go ahead, but Saint Mary closed the game strong.
Mac is now 1-8 in the KCAC and 2-19 overall. Saint Mary had entered the night just a game up on the Bulldogs, but are now 3-6 in the conference.
Mac was down 36-22 at the break, but roared back behind Sunny Smart, Bailey Brown and Georgia Smart, who combined for 47 of the Bulldogs’ points.
Sunny Smart fired in 22 points, while Brown just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Georgia Smart had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Kelsey Switzer was a one-woman wrecking ball with 26 points to lead the Spires.
Mac hosts Bethany on Saturday. The Swedes represent one of the Bulldogs’ two wins on the year.
Mac (61) — S. Smart 20, Brown 14, Demaret 4, Jefferson 2, Atkins 2, G. Smart 13, Abra 5, James 1.
Saint Mary (66) — Switzer 26, Palmer 13, Dixon 9, Emde 7, Marusak 2, Hinkle 6, Laughlin 2, Frantz 1.