McPherson College’s women were 1-8 in their first go-around through the KCAC schedule.
On their second trip, they’re now 2-0.
The Bulldogs recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season on Wednesday when they held off numerous rallies by Bethel for a 65-57 upset.
Mac is now 3-8 in the KCAC and tied with Saint Mary for the eighth and final spot. The two teams still have to meet at the Sport Center later in the season.
The Bulldogs nearly frittered away a 15-point second-half lead, but were saved late when Whitney Jefferson buried only her third 3-pointer of the year from the left corner that pushed a one-point lead out to four. Mac then closed it out by going 4 for 4 at the line in the final minute.
'That’s good to really put a full game together against a real quality opponent,” Mac coach Gordon Reimer said. “We’ve played halves and stretches where we’ve hung with good teams and tonight we showed some character.”
Mac led by as many as 12 points in the first half before settling for a 38-29 lead, then extended it out to 48-33 with 13 minutes to go. But the Bulldogs had one of their customary droughts and Bethel twice pulled within one, the last time at 58-57. It was at that point that Jefferson knocked down her clutch shot.
“She was due for one,” Reimer chuckled. “That was big, that was huge. I was happy for her.”
The Bulldogs rode Bailey Brown for 20 first-half points and she finished with 24. Lauren Ulrich scored 17 for Bethel, while April Harpe had 16, along with 12 rebounds.
A key, Reimer said, was that Mac basically was even on the boards and in turnovers, two areas that have plagued them this year.
The Bulldogs have a tough chore to make it three in a row when they travel Saturday to Salina to take on Reimer’s old team, Kansas Wesleyan. While at KW, Reimer had a three-year stretch where the Coyotes were 80-17, including a 31-3 record in 2010-11.
Mac (65) — G. Smart 9, Abra 4, Brown 24, S. Smart 7, Jefferson 9, Acklin 3, Atkins 3, Demaret 6.
Bethel (57) — Harpe 16, Durant 5, Ebenkamp 2, Ulrich 17, McKinney 2, Gerlach 7, Cahpple 2, Scott 3, Schunn 3.