A poor start and a late comeback that ran out of gas contributed to a 71-59 loss for the Bethel College women’s basketball team to McPherson College Wednesday night in KCAC play at Thresher Gym.

Bethel struggled with 21 turnovers and hit just 16 of 54 from the field. McPherson was 26 of 69 from the field and had 12 turnovers.

“We kept competing and played hard,” Bethel coach Drew Johnson said. “We just didn’t make the shots we needed to beat a good McPherson team. The bottom line is 21 (turnovers) is too many. We have to take better care of the basketball.”

Maison Moseley led McPherson, 9-6 overall and 5-4 in KCAC play, with 25 points. Brittany Roberts added 21 points with 11 rebounds.

Melinda Vargas led Bethel with 11 points off the bench.

Abby Schmidt was held to nine points, but had 17 rebounds and blocked seven shots, matching a career high and just four off the single-game school record.

Seven Bethel turnovers in the first quarter allowed McPherson to jump out 16-9. Bethel was down by as many as 13 in the second quarter, but got within six late with chances to get closer. The Bulldogs led 30-22 at the half.

Bethel kept chipping away in the third quarter. A Kayla Newman layup with 33.9 seconds left in the quarter got Bethel within two. 10 answered with a trey to put McPherson up 47-42 at the end of the period.

Bethel got back within four early in the fourth quarter, but McPherson was able to pull away late.

Bethel drops to 6-7, 3-5 in KCAC play, the fourth straight loss for the Threshers. Bethel plays at 5 p.m. Saturday at Friends. The Falcons are 5-8, 4-5 in KCAC play, after a 72-55 loss to Oklahoma Wesleyan.

“We’re going to have to be ready for that game,” Johnson said. “They like to fly around and play hard. It’s our last game before the Christmas break. Hopefully, we can use that time to get healthy again and go on from there.”

McPHERSON (9-6, 5-4 KCAC) — Elle Gillen 2-8 1-2 6, Danielle Holt 0-0 0-0 0, Brittany Roberts 8-20 5-12 21, Nicole Abunaja 0-0 0-0 0, Kyrstin Branscum 1-4 0-2 2, Maison Moseley 8-12 8-8 25, Taylor Osborn 0-1 0-0 0, Kenajah Upchurch 1-7 0-0 2, Tatum Griffin 2-4 0-0 5, Britney Jarvis 3-8 0-0 8, Haley Hurst 1-5 0-0 2, Brittni Harlow 0-0 0-0 0, Molly Schultehenrich 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 26-69 14-24 71.

BETHEL (6-7, 3-5 KCAC) — Tierra Powell 0-0 0-0 0, Brielle Hampton 2-13 2-2 7, Lindsey Heim 1-3 1-2 4, Josie Calzonetti 1-8 6-8 8, Kelsi Fitzgerald 1-11 0-0 2, Kendall Michalski 2-4 2-2 6, Lena Driscoll 0-0 0-0 0, Kayla Newman 3-3 3-4 9, Abby Schmidt 3-5 3-7 9, Sydney Tenant 1-3 1-3 3, Melinda Vargas 2-4 5-6 11. TOTALS 16-54 23-34 59.

McPherson;16;14;17;24;—71

Bethel;9;13;20;17;—59

Total fouls — MC 27, BC 22. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — MC 5-12 (Gillen 1-5, Moseley 1-2, Griffin 1-2, Jarvis 2-4), BC 4-20 (Hampton 1-4, Heim 1-2, Calzonetti 0-5, Fitzgerald 0-6, Michalski 0-1, Vargas 2-2). Rebounds — MC 41 (Roberts 11), BC 43 (Schmidt 17). Assists — MC 8 (Branscum 2), BC 8 (Hampton 3, Vargas 3). Turnovers — MC 12 (Griffin 4), BC 21 (Hampton 7). Blocked shots — MC 2 (Holt 1, Roberts 1), BC 9 (Schmidt 7). Steals — MC 13 (Jarvis 4), BC 3 (Calzonetti 2).