A Tabor men’s basketball comeback fizzled just short of a win in the final fraction of a second in today’s 57-55 home loss to Benedictine College. The Bluejays drop to 1-8 in non-conference play as they approach their home KCAC opener versus Sterling at 8 p.m. Nov. 29.
Fast, reckless ball handling resulted in Tabor turnovers and Benedictine points as the Ravens lit up from beyond the arc in the first half. After a brief back-and-forth battle, Benedictine hit three back-to-back shots from three-point range to spark a 15-point run that put the Ravens firmly in control of the half and gave them their largest lead of the game, 23-8. They out-shot Tabor by 15 percent from the field, with 30 percent, and led at the break, 23-17.
Benedictine set the tone early in the second half with a three-point right off the bat and scored again on the steal. Tabor finally got a break when Brent Jackson came off the bench and drained back-to-back three-points to bring it within two points, 29-27, with just under 13 minutes left to play. The Ravens rallied to keep hold of their lead, but in the final seconds of play stand-out senior Ryan Chippeaux completed the three-point play by making a free throw on a fouled shot and then drained a three-pointer to make it 53-50 with 13 seconds remaining.
Benedictine was perfect on free throws in the final seconds, going four-of-four, but Nick Sauer scored from beyond the arc and JT Nemit drove inside to make it 57-55 with .3 seconds left. Tabor had possession, but couldn’t get the ball in play and the game slipped away.
Chippeaux registered a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Reggie Butler came off the bench and led the Bluejays in scoring with 16 points, also pulling down two rebounds. Michael Janzen added eight points and JT Nemit seven to contribute to the Tabor offense.
Tabor out-rebounded Benedictine, 31-27, but gave the game away in turnovers. The Ravens had 19 give-aways to the Bluejays’ 21, and scored 16 points off turnovers, compared to Tabor’s seven points.