Bulldogs win shocker over Sterling

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Article by Quincy Williams
Photo by Micah Gilbert

 The McPherson women’s basketball team scored the biggest upset so far in KCAC play Thursday night, beating No. 16 ranked Sterling College, 83-78.

Sterling came into the game with an 8-2 overall record and a 6-0 record in KCAC play. The Bulldogs opened this game with a 6-16 record against Sterling dating back to the 2009-10 season, with a 3-7 record in the past ten games.  The Bulldogs, who trailed by 20 points with about six minutes left in the third, put on a clinic in the fourth quarter to seal the comeback win.

The game opened fast, with both teams nearly equal in field goal percentage. After one the Bulldogs trailed 22-19. This was mainly due to a disparity in free throw attempts. In the first half, the Warriors had 16 attempts to the Bulldogs 4. The Bulldogs had a lackluster second quarter and were outscored by ten, making the score at halftime 45-33.

The Warriors opened the third quarter with a flurry of made baskets, and the Bulldogs looked as if they were barely able to keep pace.  The score ballooned to 61-41 with 6:38 to go in the third quarter. Just when the game seemed to be slipping out of the Bulldogs grasp, they went on a 12-0 run, led mainly by Maison Moseley,  and Britney Jarvis. The third quarter ended with the Warriors leading by eight, 66-58, but the momentum had shifted firmly in McPherson’s favor.

The Bulldogs opened the fourth playing with extreme confidence and went on an 8-0 run. Jarvis hit two free throws and a pull-up jumper to draw the ‘Dogs even. Brittany Roberts had a fantastic two-way game. Roberts, who has been recording double-doubles with metronomic regularity, finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds for her 11th double-double in 13 games. She carried the Bulldogs in the fourth. Elle Gillen hit a timely three in the fourth that made the score 73-71 and gave the Bulldogs the lead for good.

This was a gigantic game for the Bulldogs. In the third quarter, the game looked to be over. Not many teams have the fortitude to remain competitive against such a daunting lead. The Bulldogs kept their heads down and continued to compete.

 “A total team effort tonight our bench came up huge in the second half,” Bulldogs Coach Josh Nichols said. “Hard to single one player out because of how important everyone was. Upchurch played excellent defense on, in my opinion, the best player in the KCAC. Brittany does what Brittany does and finished with another double-double. Elle and Britney made some big 3’s. Can’t say enough about our team’s toughness tonight.”

The Bulldogs will play Oklahoma Wesleyan Saturday night at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs’ win moves them to 8-5 on the season with a 4-3 record in conference play.

Team Leaders:
Points: Roberts, 22
Rebounds: Roberts, 12
Assists: Moseley, Gillen, Roberts, 4
Blocks: Roberts, 1
Steals: Moseley, 2

MAC (83) – Roberts (22), Moseley (14), Jarvis (12), Holt (10), Gillen (9), Upchurch (4), Griffin (4), Branscum (4), Schultehenrich (2), Hurst (2).

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