The holiday layoff did little to slow down the hottest team in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
On Thursday, the Saint Mary men’s basketball team resumed its conference schedule by traveling to McPherson College, where it trounced the Bulldogs 87-73 for its sixth-straight win.
USM is now 10-5 overall, a perfect 5-0 in the KCAC and alone a top the league standings.
Come Saturday, the Spires will host Bethel College at 7 p.m.
Versus McPherson, Saint Mary started in a flash. Lock down defense along with quality offensive execution enabled the team to build a 10-0 advantage early. In fact, USM didn’t allow a basket until nearly six minutes into the contest.
Once the Bulldogs got its first bucket, however, the game became more competitive. Even then, the Spires controlled the pace and continued its strong defensive effort to hold a 30-15 halftime advantage.
Following the break, another fast start for USM put the game away early. By the 16:09 mark, the Spires were up 42-22 and McPherson never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Chip Schneider led the team in scoring with 23 points while Shiron Williams added 14 and Matt Heydman chipped in 12. Schneider also grabbed a team-high seven boards.
New year, same story for women
With the changing of the calendar, the University of Saint Mary women’s basketball team was hoping to switch around its season’s fortunes.
Marred in a nine-game losing streak, the Lady Spires traveled to McPherson College Thursday, where the same offensive struggles of 2012 continued to haunt USM in 2013.
Falling behind early due to a long first-half scoreless streak, Saint Mary lost 74-46 to the Lady Bulldogs. USM, who is 0-5 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and 4-10 overall, hasn’t won since Nov. 13.
Against McPherson, the Lady Spires could not buy a bucket in the first half. After going up 4-3 in the opening few minutes, USM suffered through a 13-minute scoreless draught.
During that span, the home team put up over 20 points and by half, led 33-13. In the second period, USM cut the lead to 45-30 at the 14:05 mark, but got no closer than that.
Jennifer Harmon was the lone Lady Spire to record double-digit points with 10 while Bailey Hooker had 10 rebounds to lead the squad.
USM will host Bethany College at 5 p.m. Saturday.