Mac men lose, but make tourney

By Steve Sell
February 20, 2015
McPherson College Sports Information

The bigger picture Thursday at the Sport Center was that McPherson College's men earned a berth in the KCAC Postseason Tournament, albeit a probable first-round game at Hillsboro against Tabor College.

But the rest of the night was forgettable, as the Bulldogs followed up their best performance of the year on Saturday with one of their more desultory, a 78-64 loss to Friends in a game that was never that close.

The Bulldogs were down as many as 28 in the second half before a 21-4 run late in the game trimmed the margin for cosmetic purposes.

The loss left McPherson College coach Tim Swartzendruber scratching his head. The Sport Center was once a house of doom for opponents, but the Bulldogs have won just twice at home all year as their other seven wins have come on the road.

"I just can't figure out why we've played some really poor games at home," said Swartzendruber, whose team is 2-8 at the Sport Center. "I don't know what to say. It's just so disappointing."

Except for an early 11-6 lead, the Bulldogs were stymied by the Falcons' 3-2 and 2-3 zone combinations, shooting just 41 percent and only 5 of 19 from 3-point.

Friends, on the other hand, was 24 of 43 for 56 percent, made 11 of 21 from 3-point and 19 of 22 at the line as it was the one which seemed more comfortable in the surroundings.

TJ Grant scored 12 points in the final 4:11 and finished with 17 on the night, while Darius Hill added 10.

Friends had five players in doubles, led by Toby Baxter's 24.

It will be Senior Day for the Bulldogs on Saturday as they host Saint Mary at 5 p.m. Note the early starting time.

Mac (64) — Hill 10, Bevan 8, Grant 17, Crook 4, Henson 8, Bachura 9, Berry 2, Parker 4, Martinez 2.

Friends (78) — Sponsel 3, Johnson 11, Williams 18, Baxter 24, Singateh 12, Anderson 10.

• FRIENDS WOMEN 77, MAC 55 — The Bulldogs are assured of ending their season on Saturday.

With the loss to the Falcons, Mac was mathematically eliminated from the eight-team postseason tournament. Mac can finish no better than ninth as it’s 3-14 in the KCAC and 4-25 overall.

This game played out just like so many others. The Bulldogs gave up a late first-half run to trail 38-24 and the Falcons’ differential in athleticism — especially on the defensive end — didn’t allow the Bulldogs to get back in it.

Sunny Smart led Mac with 17 points, Georgia Smart added 15 and Bailey Brown scored 13. Asha Rose scored 18 off the bench to lead Friends.

Saint Mary will be the Bulldogs' opponent on Saturday, with game time pushed back to 3 p.m. Note the change.

Mac (55) — G. Smart 15, S. Smart 17, Brown 13, Abra 5, Acklin 1, Atkins 2, Demaret 2.

Friends (77)  — Barto 4, Ptacek 11, Hines 2, Mollere 13, Boyd 8, Justice 3, Rose 18, Quiroz 3, Burnham 2, Grant 5, Torres 2, McMullen 6.