Written by Janae Rempel Wednesday, 23 January 2013 23:50
The Tabor Bluejays hosted McPherson College Wednesday night. The women defeated the Bulldogs 74-55 and improved to 10-1 in the KCAC, 14-7 overall, while the men fell to McPherson 77-71 and dropped to 7-4, 8-12.
WOMEN –The two halves were as different as night and day for the Bluejays, who shot just 14 percent from the field (5-37) in the first half but improved to 61 percent shooting (19-31) after intermission.
The Bluejays jumped to an early 5-0 lead on a three-point basket by Molly Moran and consecutive basket by Tynan Honn. Tabor maintained its lead and enjoyed an eight-point, 16-8, advantage at the 10:12 mark after two free throws from Janelle Rust. The Bulldogs began to lessen the gap, however, and drew within four, 16-12, with 6:51 remaining in the opening half. Paust broke the Tabor scoring drought with two baskets from the charity stripe at 6:33, but McPherson cruised to a 20-18 lead with 1:20 left to play. Nikki Lewis tied the game from the free-throw line with under a minute remaining, but a Bulldog free throw gave McPherson a narrow 21-20 lead at the break.
The Bluejays found the spark after the half, making 19 of 31 shots from the field (61 percent) and sinking seven of nine from behind the arc (78 percent). Katlyn Mary gave Tabor its first four points of the half, but Bulldog three-point baskets contributed to a 28-24 McPherson advantage. Then Molly Moran stepped up and fired off two back-to-back three-point baskets for a 30-28 Tabor lead. The Bulldogs tied it up at 30 with 13:17 on the clock, but a Loren Oliver basket behind the arc less than 30 seconds later gave the Bluejays the lead for good. With Tabor shots hitting their target, the Bluejays built a double-digit, 48-37, lead after two Jazmyne Smith free throws at 8:18. Tabor continued to fire from behind the arc, with Mary and Moran accounting for four three-point baskets on consecutive Bluejay possessions for a 61-44 advantage with 4:35 left in the game. With Tabor in the driver’s seat, the Bluejays ended the game with a 19-point advantage, their largest of the night.
Three Bluejays led the team in scoring with 14 points each: Lewis, Mary and Moran. Paust added 12 points for Tabor, while Rust pulled down 18 rebounds.
MEN – The game was within reach of the Bluejays Wednesday, but a shaky defensive performance did not help the Tabor cause, and the home team trailed by six when the final buzzer sounded.
The Bluejays played from behind the majority of the first half. Three-point shooting (5-9, 56 percent) kept Tabor in the game, and a Chance LeBlanc basket at 14:42 tied the game at 10. McPherson surged with a 9-0 run for a 19-10 lead two and a half minutes later. Back-to-back three-point baskets by JT Nemit and Reggie Butler brought Tabor within three, 16-19, and the Bluejays would later take a narrow 22-21 lead following two scores off steals. The lead bounced back-and-forth, and a traditional three-point play by Justin Malan gave the home team a 32-30 advantage at 3:46. But the Bluejays would only score one more point in the half, while the Bulldogs surged for a 41-33 halftime lead.
McPherson snagged a double-digit, 43-33, lead three seconds into the second half, but scores by LeBlanc and Cameron Rust brought Tabor within four, 45-41 at 17:49. LeBlanc and Sauer scored back-to-back baskets to again bring the Bluejays within four, 49-45, at 16:07, and Tabor later enjoyed an 8-0 surge for a 53-51 lead after a Ryan Chippeaux basket. The teams traded scores, and Sauer free-throws put Tabor in front by three, 57-54, at 10:58. But the Bulldogs responded with a 6-0 run to regain a 60-57 advantage with 9:34 remaining. Tabor later surged with scores by Brent Jackson and Marc Hopkinson for a 66-63 lead at the 6:11 mark. The Bluejays maintained a narrow lead and took their largest lead of the night, 71-67, when Robbie Samuel drained a three at 3:04. It would be the Bluejays’ last points of the night, however, as McPherson burst to the finish with 10 unanswered points to claim the six-point victory.
The Bluejays averaged 47 percent from the field (27-58) and finished at 50 percent (8-16) from behind the arc. LeBlanc led the Tabor attack with 15 points, followed by Sauer with 10. Chippeaux grabbed 11 rebounds for Tabor.
Coming—The Bluejays travel to Bethany College Saturday, where the women will tip off at 5 p.m. followed by the men at 7.