McPherson senior Aaron Bachura wasn’t going to be denied on senior night.
The Council Grove, Kan. native tied a season-high 31 points with seven threes, propelling the Bulldogs past the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes 87-72. McPherson (9-19, 6-14) picked up its fifth victory in the last seven contests.
After an early 4-2 lead, Kansas Wesleyan (15-11, 13-7) allowed a 10-0 run to fall behind 12-4 in the first half. KWU charged back ahead with the help from six triples, three by senior Jamon Fulton, a pair by freshman Darius Hammond and one by senior Terell Gandy. McPherson erased the 33-32 deficit by riding the wave of another 10-0 run to close the first half, giving Mac a 42-33 halftime advantage.
The Bulldogs increased the cushion to 19 points, 56-37. Wesleyan nipped the margin to 12 twice, but the Coyotes couldn’t get over the hump, allowing Mac to shoot 63 percent from the floor in the second half, including 7-of-10 from deep.
McPherson freshman Frederick Watts also had a monster double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds.
KWU had four players in double figures, paced by Hammond’s career-high 16 points, giving him the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Sophomore Zach Rammelt chipped in 11, Gandy had 10 and freshman Marquis Kraemer recorded a career-high 10 points.
The loss snapped a six-game win streak for KWU. Wesleyan welcomes Tabor on Wednesday. Pregame starts at 5:45 on FM 104.9.
MCPHERSON 60, KANSAS WESLEYAN 48
The shooting woes returned for Kansas Wesleyan.
The Coyotes went 2-for-12 from the floor with eight first-quarter turnovers. McPherson built a 22-9 cushion after one, but saw the lead go down to eight, 25-17 in the second stanza. KWU junior Sydney Mortensen keyed the 8-3 run by making two of her four threes in the second.
McPherson didn’t panic, jumping out front 33-21 at the half. The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 49-28 early in the fourth quarter. Wesleyan sophomore Courtney Heinen fired back, pouring in nine of her game-high 17 points in the final period, but the Coyotes couldn’t get any closer than 10.
Mortensen ended up as the Salina Ortho Player of the Game, finishing with four treys for 12 points. Kansas Wesleyan shot a season-low 25 percent from the field, including 9-of-36 from deep.