Josh Nichols knew it wouldn't be as easy as the first time.
His McPherson College women had defeated Central Christian College by 22 points just 5 days earlier, but he fully expected the Tigers to up their game in the rematch, which this time was for the Mayor's Cup on Wednesday at the McPherson High School Roundhouse.
The Bulldogs, down 28-23 late in the first half, closed on an 11-0 blitz to lead 34-28 at the break and then after the Tigers had pulled within 50-45 early in the fourth quarter, a 14-0 Mac sizz broke the game open as the Bulldogs carted off the cup with a 71-56 victory.
It was the fourth straight win for the defensive-minded Bulldogs to open the season, while the Tigers, who have been depleted with injuries as on this night they were minus last year’s two-leading scorers, fell to 0-4.
"We're trying not to show a whole lot before conference starts," said Nichols, whose team has one more game before opening KCAC play at home next Wednesday against Oklahoma Wesleyan. "We really want to try and get our basics in and win games that way. But we had to do some different stuff today, show a little bit more than normal."
Balance was a key for Mac as four players wound up in double figures, led by Brittany Roberts and Brooke DeLuca with 17 points apiece and Roberts had yet another monster game off the glass with 15 rebounds for another double-double as she was coming off a 15-point, 17-rebound game on Saturday. DeLuca just missed a double-double with 9 rebounds.
Also with a double-double for the Bulldogs was Danielle Holt, who scored 11 points and snagged 12 rebounds. Sonerka White completed the double-digit scoring with 11.
The second big run for the Bulldogs was the decider, as Asya Tims hit a couple of big 3-pointers during that stretch and DeLuca made three baskets. Rebounding was the difference as the Bulldogs wiped the glass for 61 rebounds to 42 for the Tigers.
Piper Kalthoff and Mycah McDonald paced the Tigers with 14 points apiece.
Next action for the Bulldogs is Saturday when they host Dakota State University at 1:30 p.m. at the Sport Center. Central goes to the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Wednesday for an exhibition game.
Mac (71) — Holt 11, Roberts 17, White 11, DeLuca 17, Tims 8, Harlow 4, Olvera 1, Raimondi 2.
Central (56) — Forsberg 7, Lowe 7, Kalthoff 14, McDonald 14, Billups 2, Yannello 4, Hissam 8.