Above: Noah Webster, junior guard, weaves his way up to the basket past his defender. Southwestern faced off against the McPherson Bulldogs last night in a heated contest. Southwestern labored to defeat the Bulldogs 88 – 85, bringing their record to 10-6 in KCAC conference play. (Taylor Rodriguez /Staff photographer)

By Taylor Rodriguez
Staff reporter

The men’s basketball team fought to defeat the Bulldogs 88-85 at home on Thursday Jan. 23.

After a fast start, the men trailed slightly behind the Bulldogs 18-17 following the first three minutes of the game. The Builders led the first half in offensive rebounds, allowing for a more aggressive playstyle under the goal.

Troy Baker, senior front, controlled the rebounds under the basket. Baker finished the night with five rebounds. All of Baker’s rebounds were defensive, preventing the Bulldogs from recovering lost shots.

In the first half, the Builders show less confidence in short field goal shots only scoring 15 of 32 attempts in the first half. Despite this, they showed higher accuracy in three-point shots in the first half, finishing with 9 of 14 three-point shots being successful.

The Builders head to the locker room, finishing 49-42 ahead of the Bulldogs. The second half of the game was more fervent for the Builders.

Coming out of the locker room, the men grappled in a deep field game against the Bulldogs as their energy drove the Builders up and down the court.

With a higher field goal aggression in the second half, the men’s basketball team had a total of 30 attempts from the court, of which only 17 were successful.

Despite this, the Builders stayed ahead in points with a four to six point lead throughout the second half.

Andrew Hamm, senior guard, led the court in overall points scoring 34 by the end of the second half. Hamm also led in three point shots, having finished the game with five out of five his attempts being successful.

Playing with heart, the Bulldogs had to match the heat on the court. With one and a half minutes left on the clock, we see a rush of shots from the Bulldog offense, bringing the score to 81-80 in favor of the Builders.

Following this, we see a series of free throws and fouls on both sides, bringing the game to it’s the final score of Builders 88, Bulldogs 85.

This brings the men’s basketball overall record to 16-6 and their KCAC record to 10-6. Look forward to the men’s basketball team competing against Sterling at 5 p.m., Jan 25th in the Stewart Fieldhouse for Coaches vs. Cancer.