Watching the teams warm up, it was fairly apparent what was going to happen. With only seven players suited up, and with only one of them possessing any height to speak of, it didn’t appear as though McPherson College JV was going to be able to give Pratt Community College much trouble. And they didn’t. PCC prevailed on Monday night at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena 95-68.
In their first game back after Thanksgiving, the Beavers basically used the game to run off some of the excess turkey and stuffing ingested over the break. All thirteen healthy players saw minutes—and twelve of them scored— as PCC head coach Jesse Shaw ran waves of substitutes at the outnumbered and overmatched Bulldogs.
Pratt’s bench outscored McPherson’s by the ridiculous margin of 63-17. Of course, the Bulldogs only had two kids on the bench. Late in the game, when one Bulldog fouled out and another suffered a pulled hamstring, things were getting pretty thin on the Bulldog sideline.
PCC had five players in double figures, with three of those coming off the bench. In fact, Pratt’s leading scorer Robert Davis (20) accomplished that in a reserve roll. Big man Kevin Allen had 15, DeShun Roberts 11, and Thomas Tshikaya and Javis Flynn each added 10 from the pine.
“Those five guys really stood out with their effort,” Coach Shaw said. “In addition to their points, they each contributed in other ways. Javis had 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Robert had 3 rebounds and 2 assists. DeShun and Thomas each had 6 rebounds and Kevin had 5 boards and 3 blocks.”
The score was 14-0 before a Bulldog shot finally found the bottom of the net at the 15:25 mark. Very early on, the Bulldogs gave up trying to go inside against the bigger Beavers, and eventually settled for slinging up 3-balls at an alarming pace. On the night, McPherson attempted 36 (!) 3-point shots compared to only 14 attempted by Pratt. The Bulldogs connected on 30% of their long-range efforts, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Beavers from inexorably extending their lead.
The Beavers reached their largest lead of the first half at the media time-out, 37-14. At halftime Pratt was up 54-34.
The early second half saw the teams basically trading points. It was 72-55 at the second half media time-out, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get. By the 4:51 mark, Pratt had re-established their biggest margin of the evening, going up 81-58.
Down the stretch, the exhausted Bulldogs continued fighting but to no avail, as the fresher Beavers took advantage and continued to extend their lead until posting their biggest advantage as time ran out— 95-68 PCC.
The bigger Beavers parlayed their height advantage into a huge differential on the glass. Pratt had 57 boards to just 33 for McPherson. Many of Pratt’s rebounds were of the offensive variety, while they denied the same to McPherson. The Beavers had 14 second-chance points to just 2 for the Bulldogs.
Page 2 of 2 - Coach Shaw summed up, saying, “We got off to a sharp start, but then could never pull away any further. Hopefully, we worked the Thanksgiving turkey out as, at times, we looked rusty and sluggish.”
Now at 7-3, the PCC men will participate in the Coffeyville Elite Eight Tournament from Thursday through Saturday this week. Their first opponent on Thursday will be Missouri-West Plains.
Following the Elite 8 tournament, the PCC men will have one more game before going on hiatus for the holidays. On Dec. 13, the Beavers will travel to square off against Labette, tip-off 7 p.m.