Written by AO Thursday, 04 December 2008 16:58
The Tabor College women's basketball team picked up a 56-43 win in its conference opener behind 15 points from senior guard Kirsten Watson Thursday night at McPherson. The men's team was outgunned during the second half of a physical contest against the Bulldogs, falling 79-70 while the teams combined to be called for 43 fouls. The choppiness of the game barely hindered Kyle Kroeker, who threw in a career high 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting.
But McPherson put three players in double-digits and looked to have the game well in hand, 68-52, with 6:51 remaining. The Bluejays closed the gap in a hurry, closing within seven, 68-61, with 4:32 to go on a pair of foul shots and a 3-pointer by Mike Rousell. McPherson answered immediately with a 3-pointer by Marlon Dominique, but Damon Dechant posted up for a traditional 3-point play assisted by Kroeker with 2:13 to go. Kroeker then knocked down a trey from the right wing corner with 1:11 left to make it 72-68. It was his fifth triple of the night, and he came within a fraction of burying his sixth with 41 seconds left. The Bulldogs pushed their lead back to nine at the foul line.
Zach Vanselow scored 13 and was the only Bluejay besides Kroeker in double figures, as foul trouble limited the minutes of starters Orson Thomas (7:14 first half, 15:10 game) and Aaron Whitelaw (4:59 first half, 20:16 game).
In the women's game, Tabor began with an 8-0 run and stoked the lead to 14, 32-18, at the conclusion of the first half. Watson had 12 points at the break. McPherson was unable to solve the Bluejays in the second half, as Tabor rattled off a 13-2 run behind freshmen Sarah Wyckoff and Gina Hullet, who scored back-to-back 3-point plays set up by Chelsea Malone, who buried a 3-pointer assisted by Wyckoff for a 45-23 lead with 11:44 remaining in the game.
Andrea Robinson pushed the lead to 25 with 9:39 left, but the Bluejay shooters went cold and the Bulldogs finished the game with an 18-6 stretch. Robinson finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Jordan Crosson led Tabor with 9 boards and 2 blocked shots.
As a group, the Bluejay rebounders dominated the glass 48-39, and the Tabor defense limited McPherson to 27 percent on field goals—and to just 8-for-33 shooting in the first half.