With a 66-61 win, the Tabor College men's basketball team moved into a 3-way tie for first place in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Saturday night in Wichita. Kyle de Blonk and Mike Rousell led the Bluejays offensively, with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Rousell got the Jays revved up early, scoring all of his points in the first half and powering an early 8-6 lead with back-to-back baskets.
Kyle Kroeker also got started early, nailing a pair of 3-pointers–one for a 3-0 lead, and one that opened Tabor's edge to 25-18. Friends closed to 25-23, but Rousell answered with a 8-foot fallaway jumper from the baseline, and followed with a traditional 3-point play. The Bluejays pushed it back to seven, 32-25, by collecting four offensive rebounds on one possession that finally ended with Whitelaw scoring an uncontested layup, rebounding his make, and pounding the dead ball on the court below the basket. Friends called timeout, and rallied to close the gap to 34-32 at halftime.
But the Falcons never gained the lead, despite closing to 37-36 early in the second. Rousell sparked the Bluejay counterattack, taking a charge from Chris Heard. Orson Thomas made it 40-36 with a slick crossover move to free himself for a 12-foot jumper.
When de Blonk scored a put-back layup on his own missed 3-point attempt, Tabor led by 9. Friends did not fade down the stretch, closing again within four, 65-61, but the Bluejays made enough foul shots to close out the game.
The women's team went to Friends, 58-52, as 14 points apiece from Kirsten Watson and Jordan Crosson were not enough to overcome a slow start. Tabor made just 7 of 30 field goal attempts in the first half, but caught fire after a technical foul was called against them midway through the second half.
The technical was whistled between two of Crosson's foul shots, and Megan VinZant hit both freebies to make it 46-22 with 13:20 to go. The Bluejays did not allow a basket for 6-plus minutes and outscored the Falcons 17-0. A Crosson layup assisted by Stephanie Silvas closed the gap to 48-41, and Tabor drew within four, 48-44, on another pair of free throws from Crosson. The Bluejays held on to make it interesting in the final minute, but Vin Zant sealed it with foul shots.
Vin Zant finished with 11 points.