Behind Zack Vanselow's 15 points, 11 rebounds double-double, the Tabor College men's basketball team upended Bethel 66-59 Saturday in North Newton. The Tabor women won 69-59.
The men spread the offense around, with 10 players finding the bottom of the net–but it was swarming team defense that ultimately carried the Bluejays to victory. Tabor held the Threshers to under 30 percent shooting from the field, but Bethel scored 26 points at the foul line to conceal the lopsidedness of the action.
Vanselow played the defensive tower of power role comfortably, blocking four shots outright–including a late 3-point try–and altering a multitude of others. Tabor forced 18 turnovers, including a shot clock violation following the triple-try Vanselow swatted out of bounds with 48 seconds left in the game. Tabor led 63-56 at that point, and Bethel never closed within seven.
But early in the contest, the Threshers forced Tabor's forwards into foul trouble and led 17-14 for a brief moment after Orson Thomas picked up his second first-half foul. Tabor regained the edge at 20-19, and Vanselow rejected Bethel's bid to recover.
A 2-pointer and back-to-back 3-pointers by Kyle Kroeker opened the gap to 30-19. The Bluejays led 34-26 at halftime.
Bethel closed to 36-34 early in the second half and hung tough until Vanselow fought through a foul to make it 48-43 with 9:34 to go. Thomas cemented the lead with consecutive layups, and Bethel never bounced back.
Kroeker scored all 12 of his points on 5-for-9 shooting in the first half, after starting the game with three straight misses.
The Tabor women trailed 10-8 6:26 into the first half but took the lead on Brittany Roth's traditional 3-point play, and never trailed again. Roth finished with 13 points and three other Bluejays broke into double-digits: Kirsten Watson (12), Andrea Robinson (16), and Chelsea Malone (13).
Watson's trey made it 16-10, and back-to-back triples by Malone lifted Tabor to a 29-21 lead. The Bluejays led 33-23 at halftime. Tabor led by as much as 13–48-35–but Bethel closed within six to make it interesting down the stretch.
Malone blunted Bethel's run, taking a charge with 4:59 to go. Gina Hullet scored on a dribble drive to make it 58-48 on the subsequent possession, and Robinson's foul shooting stiff-armed the Threshers during the final minute.
Tabor dominated the boards 36-26. Hullet finished with 9 points.