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Clutch Shooting Fuels Bulldogs Comeback over Friends


McPHERSON, Kan. ( — Big baskets by Jamil Hardaway and Curtis Rose late in the second half pushed the McPherson College Bulldogs past the Friends University Falcons 71-66 inside the Sport Center.


The Bulldogs trailed by as many as eight with 6:47 left to play, but clawed their way back to trim the lead to 63-61 with two minutes remaining. Jamil Hardaway briefly gave the Bulldogs a 64-63 advantage, drilling a clutch three from the top of the key.

KJ Spiller put the Falcons on top once again with a tip-in, but missed free throws by the Falcons down the stretch left the door wide open with nine seconds to play.

That’s when Curtis Rose took over, knotting the score at 66 apiece with a floater then converted the three point play with 1.5 second remaining.

The Falcons turned it over on their next possession before a flagrant foul was called. The Bulldogs connected on all four free throws to seal the victory.

Hardaway and Collin Storr each scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs (15-6, 10-5 KCAC). Labron Wilson secured his first career double-double, adding 13 points and ten rebounds, both career-highs. Owen Braxmeyer came up one point short of a double-double, pulling down 11 rebounds and scoring nine points.

On the defensive end, the Bulldogs finished with eight steals, led by Wilson who finished with three takeaways. Braxmeyer and Hardaway each added two steals.

The Bulldogs shot just 37.7 percent from the field, including 4-for-25 from beyond the arc.

Friends finished 16-for-20 from the foul line, but three of their four misses came in the final minute.

MC led most of the first half, grabbing a 19-12 advantage midway through the frame before taking a 35-31 edge into the break.

The Falcons erased that lead less than three minutes into the second half, using a quick 6-0 run to tie the game at 37-37. Friends then grabbed the momentum with a 7-0 burst that included five straight points by Tim Barbieri.

Spiller paced the Falcons with 23 points and four rebounds, while Al Emerllahu added 12 points and five rebounds.

The Bulldogs hit the road Saturday (Feb. 1) for a huge KCAC matchup against (RV) Kansas Wesleyan in Salina, Kan. The Coyotes came away with a 76-69 win over MC back in November.