Bearcats drop a pair at Truman State

Special to the News-DemocratJanuary 11, 2014 

The McKendree University men's basketball team was handed a 91-60 loss Saturday afternoon at Truman State University in a Great Lakes Valley Conference contest.

The host Bulldogs built a double-digit lead midway through the first half and never looked back in grabbing the win in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

Senior forward Will Kirksey and junior forward Logan Carson led a balanced scoring attack for McKendree (6-5, 0-3 GLVC) with 10 points each. Junior guard Mike DiGregorio contributed nine points and four rebounds, while junior forward Arthur Williams posted seven points and a team-leading eight rebounds for the Bearcats.

Truman State got its perimeter game clicking in the win, sinking 12 3-point field goals, including eight in the first half on its way to a 19-point lead at the intermission.

Tied at 6-6, Truman State netted seven straight points to grab the lead for good at 13-6. A3 by Carson with 14:08 left in the half snapped the run for the Bulldogs.

Later in the half, Truman State used a 13-2 run to stretch its advantage to 30-15 with 7:08 remaining until halftime. The Bulldogs would go into intermission leading 47-28.

McKendree started strong in the second half, scoring 12 of the first 16 points of the period to pull within 51-40 with 16:45 to play. Carson led the Bearcats with five points during the stretch.

That was as close as McKendree would come the rest of the game.

Reed Mells led all scorers with 21 points to pace Truman State (10-3, 3-2 GLVC). Seth Jackson collected a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Andrew Vander Swaag sank five 3-pointers to net 15 points in a reserve role for the Bulldogs.

Women's basketball

Truman State 81, McKendree 66

The McKendree women's team also lost its GLVC matchup at Truman State.

The Bearcats fall to 6-6 overall and 1-3 in the GLVC with the loss, and will begin a four-game homestand this week when they host Lewis University on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Sophomore guard Liz Gilman led McKendree (6-6, 1-3 GLVC) with 15 points in the loss, while freshman guard/forward Amber Alexander had a career-high 14 points. Senior guard Brittany Willis and sophomore forward Kara Johnson both finished with 13 points.

Truman State took control of a tight first half with a 13-0 run, which put it up 42-29 at halftime.

The Bearcats outscored Truman State 20-6 in the paint during the second half, but a 1-for-6 effort from 3-point range probably proved their undoing, as the Bulldogs drained 6 of their 12 second-half shots from beyond the arc.

Courtney Strait led all players with 24 points for Truman State.

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