The McPherson College men’s basketball team won, 114-106, which could be the most exciting game of the season so far on Monday night against the Friends University Falcons. It was the Bulldogs’ eighth win in a row. They still haven’t lost a game in 2020. The win improved the ‘Dogs to 15-5 on the season and 10-4 in KCAC play.
“What a game,” Bulldog Head Coach T.J. Eskildsen said. “That was a great game with two great teams in a great atmosphere. I’m extremely proud of the fight and toughness that our guys showed the whole game.”
The first half was a high-tempo, back-and-forth game with neither team putting in yeoman’s work on the defensive end. McPherson shot exactly 50 percent, while Friends shot 48 percent. Guards Davonte Pack and James Conley for Friends were able to penetrate inside quite easily in the initial half. The Bulldogs answered this with seven threes. The game was tied 45-45 with about three seconds left in the first when James Conley hit a desperation three from about the logo. The score was 48-45 at the half.
The second half was all about Delvon Hightower. Hightower made play after play in the frame. The Bulldogs trailed at one point in the half, 75-64, lockdown defense and a couple of and one’s got the Bulldogs back in the game. Travon Shelvin’s perimeter shooting also played an instrumental role. The Bulldogs and Falcons were tied at 86 when Dorian Page drove hard to the rim with six seconds left. He was called for a charge on the play but the Falcons were unable to score on their final possession, and the game went to overtime.
The Bulldogs’ victory in overtime can be credited mostly to the scoring of Shelvin. He scored 13 of the Bulldogs’ 28 points in the five-minute frame. He hit a dagger three, two other buckets from the field and went 8 of 8 from the free-throw line to finish with 25 points. Fred Watts had two clutch second-chance baskets also. Impressive win by a white-hot Bulldogs roster. Clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch allowed the Bulldogs to escape with the win.
“We had so many different guys step up,” Eskildsen said. “That was a total team win. Thank you to our student section and the McPherson fans for providing a boost tonight.”
The Bulldogs will try to extend their winning streak to nine games at Southwestern Thursday night at 8 p.m.