ABOVE: Ashton Burdick, senior guard, looks for an opening. The Lady Builders lost to the Bulldogs 76-51. (Lauren Sieh/Staff photographer)
By Drake Vittitow
It was a tough night for the Lady Builders as they fell to McPherson College 51-76 in Stewart Fieldhouse on Saturday.
“I was proud of the way we handled adversity tonight,” said Whitney Corley, head women’s basketball coach. “We have been battling injuries and setbacks all season and I am glad we kept fighting until the end.”
Ashton Burdick, senior guard, lead all scorers with 17 and Lauren Richter, junior forward, led all rebounders with 15. Sydney Dennis, senior forward, led all players with five assists.
McPherson hounded Southwestern, forcing eleven turnovers in the first half. Free throws were lopsided also, with Southwestern shooting one compared to McPherson’s 22.
Richter and Dennis were steadfast on defense for the Lady Builders, totaling seven blocks and four second chance points. Although they trailed by 10 at the end of the first half, these defensive plays kept Southwestern within striking distance of the Lady Bulldogs.
Ashton Burdick, senior guard, kept SC in the game on the offensive end, making three 3-point shots.
“Our defense is what kept us in the game early,” said Richter. “Once we improve our confidence in close games, then our ability to finish games out will improve.”
SC started the second half with an 8-0 run that was propelled by second chance points from Richter and a transition three pointer from Amanda Graddy, freshman guard.
That was the last breath of life the Builders had before the Bulldogs took over for the rest of the game.
Every time Southwestern clawed their way back into the game, McPherson responded with a run of their own. McPherson closed the third quarter with a 22-5 run.
“We did a poor job adjusting coming out of the second half,” said Graddy. “We have to be better at knowing what’s coming and taking those punches.”
Turnovers remained a problem for SC in the second half, adding 11 more in the first eight minutes of the third quarter.
McPherson lead in every stat besides turnovers and blocks.
“We are going to improve by doing the things we can control,” said Corley. “Finishing quarters, moving the ball and limiting turnovers are key for us to get over the hump.”
The Lady Builders reached a milestone tonight, amassing 13 total blocks which is a program record for most in a game. They beat the previous record of 12 set during the 1988-89 season against Hillsdale.
The Lady Builders will travel to Avila on Monday to play the Lady Eagles at 6:00 p.m.