Article by Jeremy Nelson
McPherson, Kan. – The McPherson College men’s basketball team dropped a seven-point decision to crosstown rival Central Christian College on Wednesday night in the second annual Mayor’s Cup, played in the “Round House” at McPherson High School.
The Tigers jumped out on top of the Bulldogs early, leading by as many as ten points late in the opening half. Over the final seven minutes of the first half, the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 19 to 11 and cutting the Tiger lead to two points, 37-35, as they headed into the locker room at halftime.
As the second half got underway, the Bulldogs got off to another slow start. The Tigers extended their lead out to nine points, 52-43, at the 15:18 mark, but the Bulldogs fought back and trimmed the lead back down to five points just over a minute later. With just over 14 minutes to play in regulation, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run to open up a 15 point lead 62-47. Over the final ten minutes of the half, missed shots and a few untimely turnovers kept the Bulldogs from making another run at the Tigers. In the end, the Tigers were able to hold off the Bulldogs and win their second straight Mayor’s Cup 77-70.
Individually, the Bulldogs had three players score in double figures, paced by Fred Watts (Jr. Channelview, Texas), who led all scorers with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Also in double figures were Kemryn Jenkins (Jr. Eminence, Ky.) with 15 points, and Josh Rivers (So. Midwest City, Okla.) with 13.
First-year head coach, TJ Eskildsen, summed up his first rivalry game at the helm of the Bulldog program by saying, “I was happy that we battled back in the first half. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t keep that momentum going in the second half. I was very proud of Fred Watts’ effort. He was tough the whole game. Give Central Christian credit. They made plays when they needed to. We need to learn from this game and get ready to begin conference play.”
Now at 3-1 on the season, the Bulldogs will get a week off before they head out on the road next Wednesday, opening up KCAC play in Lindsborg, Kansas against the Bethany College Swedes. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
MAC (70) – Watts (23), Jenkins (15), Rivers (13), Magot (7), Hightower (5), Shelvin (5), Aguillard (2).