Written by Andrew Ottoson Tuesday, 13 February 2007 18:00With a pair of wins this week, the Tabor College women's basketball team stayed alive in the KCAC title race.
"We need to beat Sterling on Thursday and have them lose on Saturday," coach Rusty Allen said. "We also need to have Ottawa lose one of its final two. If all of that happens, we'll be in a three-way tie for first place."
Wins over Kansas Wesleyan and Friends kept the Bluejays (13-3) within striking distance heading into the final week of regular-season play.
Friends-Behind 19 points from Emily Vogts, Tabor soared past 68-52 after a 35-21 updraft in the first half.
"With few exceptions, we took away all of their strengths," Allen said. "As a result, they missed a lot of shots and we dominated the first half."
Vogts scored 13 before intermission, including the pair of foul shots with 2:16 left that gave the home team a 5-3 lead.
"Her teammates are very aware of her," coach Rusty Allen said. "If she gets a little space, she's an easy player to get the ball to because we can throw it where only she can get it."
Friends battled back and led 7-5 with 16:21 left, but the Bluejays owned the rest of the half.
After Vogts drained a 2-pointer that tied the game at 7 at 15:48, the Bluejays outscored the Falcons 28-14 before intermission.
Vogts threw in a 3-pointer from the deep corner at 14:04 and drew a foul in the lane for a pair of foul shots at 13:45.
At 5:59, her layup put Tabor a 27-12 margin. Then Vogts took a pass from Nicole Ellis for another point-blank score 0:38 later.
The Bluejays pushed their lead as high as 18 in the first half and up to 24 in the second.
Kirsten Watson made all six of her free-throw attempts and finished with 11 points. Stacie Herman scored eight points to go with 11 assists.
With 5:57 to go, Runge left the game after taking a hard foul.
"It's the same shoulder injuries she's been playing with (since) around the Christmas break," Allen said. "We talked to the doctor and Erin said, 'As long as I can play, I want to keep playing.'"
"Her courage is off the chart," Allen added.
Kansas Wesleyan-Coming off consecutive losses, Tabor overcame a sluggish start and a 29-25 halftime deficit with an outstanding defensive effort after halftime.
The Bluejays allowed 15 points in the second half and scored 33 en route to a 58-44 final score.
"We only turned the ball over four times in the second half, and we really guarded well," Allen said. "We played hard and we picked up some momentum."
Senior forward Ascendra Peters, who is the centerpiece of the KW offense and cornerstone of the Coyote defense, scored the final five points of the first period.
The burst effectively wiped out the 6-0 run Tabor had used to take a 25-24 lead with 1:35 to go.
But the Bluejays tied the game at 29 only 1:39 into the second half, when Kirsten Watson scored her first points of the game.
It snowballed into a 10-2 run and a 35-31 Tabor lead as Erin Runge, Emily Vogts and Donya Anderson all scored in the paint.
Peters ended the run with a 3-point play at 15:01, then added a 2-pointer at 13:13 and a layup at 9:48 to give KW a 38-37 lead.
But Watson caught fire and scorched the Coyotes with three 3-pointers over the next 1:55. She sparked an 18-4 run that Stacie Herman capped with a pair of free throws with 40 seconds to go that gave a 58-42 margin.
Peters provided the final score on a pair of free throws with 28 seconds left. She led all scorers with 20 points.
Anderson paced the Bluejays with 14 points and completed another double-double with 11 rebounds. Watson finished with 11 points-all in the second half-and Herman added 10.
Coming-Tabor plays Sterling on the road at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Sterling (15-1) got 34 points from K.C. Bassett and claimed a 70-53 win in the first game of the season series in Hillsboro on Jan. 13. No other conference opponent won its first match with the Bluejays this season.
On Saturday, Tabor plays its final regular-season game at 6 p.m. at home against the Bethany Swedes (3-13).