LINDSBORG, KAN. – The Bethany College Women’s Basketball team was unable to hold off a late push by the McPherson College Bulldogs in a 60-58 loss in Hahn Gym.
The Swedes came out strong this afternoon against McPherson College storming out to a 16-3 lead after the first quarter. Hannah Ferguson, junior center, got things going for the Swedes when she scored back to back baskets in the paint to start the game for Bethany. Halei Wortham‘s driving left handed layup at the seven minute mark would make it 6-0 Swedes. The Bulldogs would trim the lead to 6-3 when they converted an and one, however it would be their only basket of the quarter as Bethany would go on a 10-0 run to take a 16-3 lead into the second quarter.
Halei Wortham would put the Swedes up by sixteen after splitting a pair a free throws and hitting a short jumper to start the quarter. McPherson would split a pair of free throws and get a basket inside to make it 19-6. Following a Hannah Ferguson steal Wortham would score in transition to push the lead back to 15. The next possession Autumn Garrett, sophomore guard, would find Halei Wortham on the wing for a three as the Swedes went up 24-6. After the two teams exchanged baskets Halei Wortham would deliver a pass from half court to Sarah Reiner, freshman center, for a fast break bucket that gave the Swedes a twenty point lead. The Bulldogs would answer with a basket of their own before Paige Talbott, junior guard, found Julia Nygard, senior guard for a three to put the Swedes ahead 31-10, their largest lead of the night. McPherson would close the half on a 4-1 run to make it 32-16 as the teams went to their locker rooms.
The Bulldogs would score the first five points of the half on a three and a runner in the lane. A pair of Hannah Ferguson free throws pushed Bethany’s lead to 34-21. McPherson would cut the lead to nine on a free throw and a made three pointer. Four straight Autumn Garrett points made it 38-25 with 7:12 to play in the third. The Bulldogs would score six straight to pull within seven on a short jumper by Victoria Ates. Halei Wortham would find Hannah Ferguson inside for two more points as the Swedes led 40-31. McPherson would go on a 10-0 run to take the lead at 41-40. Autumn Garrett would find a cutting Meghan Goff, sophomore guard, in transition for an and one finish that would give Bethany a 43-41 lead. McPherson would tie the game on its next possession when Dy’mond McElrath connected on a fifteen foot jumper from the wing. Vasha Moore would split a pair from the charity stripe before McPherson scored on a steal by Erika Diaz. Vasha Moore would find Paige Talbott on a long outlet pass with twenty-six seconds left to give the Swedes a 46-45 lead heading into the fourth.
Autumn Garrett would put the Swedes up by three as she drove the right side of the lane for a basket to open the fourth. McPherson would answer with a three to tie things up. Following a McPherson foul Moore would split free throws to put the Swedes up by one. Hannah Ferguson would get an offensive rebound and put back to push Bethany ahead 51-48. The Bulldogs would come down and score to make it 51-50. Bethany would go one for two at the line to lead 52-50 before the Bulldogs got a basket in the paint to tie things up again. Halei Wortham would respond with a basket to before McPherson would again tie the game at 54 all. McPherson would get five straight points from the foul line to take their largest lead of the night at 59-54. Hannah Ferguson would respond with a basket inside with five seconds left to pull the Swedes to within three, before another McPherson free throw would make it 60-56. Autumn Garrett would get fouled with eight tenths of a second on the clock and convert both foul shots to end the game at 60-58 Bulldogs.
Hannah Ferguson led the Swedes today as she recorded her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Halei Wortham would add 14 points and Autumn Garrett finished with 10 points. Vasha Moore finished second in rebounds for the Swedes with 11. Five Swedes finished with two assists each. Julia Nygard made an impact on the defensive end with 2 blocks and 2 steals while Halei Wortham recorded four takeaways.
Bethany would outshoot the Bulldogs 42% to 31.9% however the Bulldogs would get nineteen more shots as they forced the Swedes into a season high 35 turnovers. Bethany would outrebound McPherson 44 to 39 to win the rebound battle.
Up Next . . .
The Swedes will have some time off to enjoy the holidays and are next scheduled to return to the court on Wednesday January, 13 at Friends University. That game is scheduled to begin at 6:00 PM.