It may not have been pretty, but both Tabor basketball teams came away with wins over visiting Kansas Wesleyan Wednesday night. The women defeated the Coyotes 72-67 to improve to 8-1 in the KCAC, 12-7 overall, while the men recorded a six-point, 90-84 victory to improve to 7-2, 8-10.
WOMEN – Tabor held the visiting Coyotes scoreless from behind the arc Wednesday en-route to the Bluejays’ eventual five-point victory Wednesday, but the game proved to be a battle. The Bluejays fell behind by six to open the game but surged to take a 9-8 lead on a traditional three-point play by Becky Bryan with 15:30 left in the opening half. The score remained tight, with the score tied three times in the half. Molly Moran contributed three, three-point baskets in the first half to aid the Tabor attack. An 8-0 run by the Coyotes at the end of the half gave the Coyotes a 35-28 lead, but two free-throws by Jazmyne Smith with 2.2 left on the clock brought Tabor within five, 35-30, at the break. The Bluejays shot just 31 percent (9-29) from the field in the half while making eight of nine free throws (89 percent).
Janelle Rust opened the second half with a basket with only 10 seconds off the clock and followed with a free throw not 30 seconds later to bring the Bluejays within two, 33-35. But Tabor would continue to trail, not drawing closer than two points until Smith made two free throws at 12:05 to tie the game at 44. Nikki Lewis and Hannah Paust scored back-to-back baskets for a 51-50 Tabor lead at 9:47, but the Coyotes surged with a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the night, 59-51, with 7:07 left to play. Not to be outdone, Tabor evened the score at 61 after Katlyn Mary sank a jump shot followed by two consecutive baskets from behind the arc. The Coyotes pulled away for a 65-61 lead at 3:07, but Paust free throws and a later basket evened the score at 65. The Coyotes made two baskets from the charity stripe at 1:54 for a narrow, two-point lead, but it would be Kansas Wesleyan’s final points of the night as Paust tied the game at 67 with 1:37 on the clock and proceeded to make five free throws to seal the Tabor victory.
Paust led the Bluejays with 15 total points, followed by Molly Moran with 11, and Katlyn Mary and Jazmyne Smith with 10 points each. Janelle Rust grabbed 12 rebounds for Tabor.
MEN – It was a game that almost got away from the Tabor men Wednesday night. The Bluejays trailed early in the game. Michael Janzen put Tabor’s first seven points on the board to bring Tabor within three, 10-7, at the 15:46 mark. A Reggie Butler basket from behind the arc followed by two points from Ryan Chippeaux tied the game at 12 with 13:23 left in the half. Justin Malan sank a second-chance basket at the 10:11 mark, igniting a 14-0 Tabor surge for a double-digit, 30-19 lead just under three minutes later. The teams traded scores, and the half ended with an 11-point, 47-36, Tabor lead.
It was a back-and-forth scoring battle to open the second half, but a Nick Sauer three-point basket at 15:59 gave Tabor a 16-point, 61-45 lead, the Bluejays’ largest of the night. But the Coyotes would not go quietly, surging with an 11-0 run to narrow Tabor’s lead to five, 61-56, at the 12:52 mark. A 9-0 run by the Coyotes brought Kansas Wesleyan within two, 72-70 with 7:19 left to play. The Coyotes drew within one, 76-75, at 5:35 and took a 78-76 lead 30 seconds later on a three-point basket. Free throw baskets by Sauer and Chippeaux followed by a Sauer three-point basket switched the lead to Tabor, 83-78, with 3:24 left in the game. The Coyotes answered with a 6-0 burst for an 84-83 lead with 1:47 on the clock. But two baskets by Lawson Kingsley from the charity stripe gave Tabor a slim 85-84 lead at 1:17. Sauer sank a crucial three-point basket with 17 seconds left to widen Tabor’s lead to four, 88-84, and Chippeaux sealed the 90-84 victory with two baskets from the charity stripe.
Sauer scored a game-high 20 points. Chippeaux finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points and 13 rebounds, to finish one point shy of 1,000 career points at Tabor. Kingsley had 14 points on the night, while Janzen had 12 to aid the Tabor attack.