The Tabor College women held visiting Kansas Wesleyan scoreless from behind the arc Wednesday en route to a 72-67 victory.
“(Kansas Wesleyan is) a good three-point shooting team,” coach Shawn Reed said. “About 33 percent of their points come off threes, and they didn’t make one tonight. We really wanted to get out and defend them and really force them to drive.”
The Bluejays fell behind early but rallied to take a 9-8 lead on a three-point play by Becky Bryan with 15:30 left in the half.
An 8-0 run by the Coyotes near the end of the half gave KWU a 35-28 lead, but two Jazmyne Smith free-throws with 2.2 seconds left brought Tabor within five at the break.
The Bluejays shot just 31 percent (9-29) from the field.
“(We) took a couple ill-advised shots, but I thought we missed some shots around the basket too that we normally hit,” Reed said. “We were in a little bit of a hurry.”
Absent from the Bluejay lineup in the first half was junior forward Hannah Paust, who suffered a concussion Monday in practice.
“(Hannah) was cleared to play today, but I’m kind of old school in that if you don’t practice, you’re not going to play,” Reed said. “I kind of parked my pride, probably, and my rule in the second half just because this is (Hannah’s) kind of game. I just made a decision that she needed to play.”
Paust would end up leading the team with 15 points.
The second half remained close. Tabor trailed until Smith made two free throws at 12:05 to tie the game at 44.
Baskets by Nikki Lewis and Paust gave Tabor a 51-50 lead, but the Coyotes responded with a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the night, 59-51, with 7:07 to play.
Not to be outdone, Tabor evened the score at 61 when Katlyn Mary hit a two-pointer and two three-pointers. The Coyotes scored the next four points, but two free throws and a basket by Paust evened the score at 65.
With the scored tied at 67, Paust made five free throws to seal Tabor’s victory. The Bluejays made 20 of 25 free throws for the game.
Following Paust in scoring was Moran with 11 points, and Mary and Smith with 10 points each. Rust grabbed 12 rebounds for Tabor.