Tabor women snap loss streak with win over KWU Coyotes

It’s tough win a basketball game if a team can’t find a consistent way to score. The Tabor women’s basketball team ran into this problem again Monday night in Winfield.

The Bluejays only scored 14 first-half points in a 78-56 loss to Southwestern College. The loss dropped the Jays to 11-14 overall and 6-10 in conference play.

The Moundbuilders outscored Tabor 36-14 in the first half, taking advantage of the Jays’ 22 percent shooting.

Southwestern also made 14 free throws in the first half.

“The 14 [points] in the first half killed us,” said head coach Chanda Rigby.

The second half went markedly better for the Jays. They went toe-to-toe against the Moundbuilders in points with 42, and shot 52 percent from the floor. They were also 5-of-11 from the 3-point line.

“We got more aggressive looks at the bucket and we got to the free throw line early,” Rigby said. “We had a much better effort in the second half.”

Southwestern held off the Bluejays with impressive free throw shooting, hitting 83 percent from the charity stripe for the game and missing only one free throw in the second half.

Sophomore guards Holly Ross and Carmen Hein led the offensive charge for the Bluejays in the second half.

Ross had 14 points and Hein had 12 points to go along with a team-high three steals.

Freshman post player Meghan Coe added eight points and eight rebounds for Tabor.

TC 76, Kansas Wesleyan 50

Jenea Rademacher’s contribution doesn’t show in the boxscore, but her performance helped spark her Bluejay teammates to a convincing 76-50 win over Kansas Wesleyan Saturday.

The 5-10 senior leader is out for the season with a knee injury, but was called in before the game to rally her teammates, who were mired in a five-game losing streak.

“We had Jenea come in and give our pregame speech,” coach Chanda Rigby said. “She gave a good one about not taking your playing time for granted. We came out more emotional and hungry for a win.”

A 10-2 run to open the game set the tone for Tabor against the last-place Coyotes. The Jays put together a 12-0 run midway through the first half to lead 26-8 and take firm control of the game. The Jays led 35-16 at intermission.

Tabor only got better in the second half. Fueled by an effective fast-break, the Jays shot a stunning 73 percent from the floor and pushed their lead to as many as 34 points, 72-38 with 4:11 to play.

The biggest beneficiary of the fast break was Melanie Kurtz, who came off the bench to score 18 points for Tabor on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor. Most of her baskets were finishes off the break.

“That’s the kind of basketball that we’ve known she can play,” Rigby said of the 5-9 sophomore. “I’m glad she did it and I hope it will encourage her about playing next year.”

Also scoring in double figures for Tabor were Angela Kroeker with 13 and Tesha Werth with 11.

The Bluejays controlled the boards, 41-26, with Meaghan Coe hauling in eight. Tabor outscored their guests 34-7 on second-chance points.The Bluejay defense recorded 13 steals and forced 26 turnovers.

Ottawa 86, TC 56

From Tabor coach Chanda Rigby’s perspective, her Bluejays hit bottom during their 86-56 loss to Ottawa Thursday night in Ottawa.

The game, which stretched Tabor’s losing streak to five games, came against a team the Bluejays had beaten by 10 points three weeks earlier.

“I never felt like we showed up to play the game,” Rigby said. “The last two games we’ve played have been the worst we played all year. I don’t have any answer for it other than we’ve got to get more emotional and more fired up before the game starts.”

Tabor fell behind from the start and trailed by 22 points at intermission, 45-23. The second saw no real improvement in the team’s performance.

“We came out and let them do whatever they wanted to do. We had no emotion,” Rigby said. “Maybe it was just a lull but we definitely saw a lack of intensity in the last two games.”

Offensively, the Bluejays shot a paltry 23 percent from the floor (17 of 73), including a 3-for-18 showing from behind the arc.

Holly Ross was the only Bluejay to score in double digits with 11.

The only bright spot for Tabor was the return of post player Susan Carter, who was out for several games with a sprained knee. She scored nine points.

“She’s really hustling herself to death,” Rigby said. “She doesn’t have any speed back, but as far as being around the goal and just fighting to get the ball and turn around and put it up, she’s fighting hard.”

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