ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
Two nights of poor shooting proved to be the essential ingredient in a recipe for two Tabor losses at the Tabor Classic this weekend.
The Bluejays shot 32 percent Friday night against Texas Wesleyan in a 57-48 loss and 28 percent in Saturday night’s 11-point loss to the Langston Lions.
The shooting woes continue to be a primary concern of Tabor coach Don Brubacher.
“I’m really concerned about our quality of play,” Brubacher said. “If we shot the ball better, some of the other ills would not be as noticeable, and they wouldn’t be as damaging to us.”
The Jays had a chance to beat Langston Saturday, but fell to the visitors from Oklahoma, 66-55, in a rough-and-tumble game.
The physical play began early in the first half as the Bluejays and Lions traded baskets over the first 11 minutes of play.
Tabor’s Jimmy Janzen had 10 of his 13 points in the first half to pace the Bluejays early.
Despite shooting 26 percent during the first 20 minutes, the Bluejays only trailed by six at intermission.
But eight minutes into the second half, Tabor found themselves down by 15, 49-34.
But the Jays clawed back into the game, narrowing the margin to as small as five points after Tyson Ratzlaff nailed a 3-pointer with less than five minutes left in the game.
But Langston’s Jarriel Vicks rattled home four free throws and a 2-pointer to extend the Lions’ lead to 11 at the 2:30 mark.
As the last seconds of the game ticked away, the two teams picked up the intensity, but the Bluejays couldn’t erase the Lions’ lead.
After the game, Brubacher noted the physical play.
“They were a very big team physically,” Brubacher said. “It (rough play) was allowed tonight. That means we have to be more aggressive. It was very physical all game.
“It’s interesting that as big as they are and as athletic as they are, it was their zone defense that hurt us the most.”
The Jays were out-rebounded 44-33 and turned the ball over 16 times.
Janzen’s 13 points, five rebounds and three assists were supported by Ernest Nortey’s 11 points and six rebounds. Ratzlaff added 10 points, seven boards and one steal.
Texas Wesleyan-Friday night the Bluejays fell to the Texas Wesleyan Rams 57-48.
The Bluejays trailed early in the game, 13-4, but was recharged by an Ernest Nortey dunk that sparked a 12-0 Bluejay run.
The lead was short-lived, though, as the Rams answered with a 14-0 run of their own.
Tabor and Texas Wesleyan battled all the way to end of the half, with the Bluejays trailing by two at the buzzer.
Jimmy Janzen opened the second half by giving the Jays their second lead of the game, 28-27.
The Rams and the Bluejays traded the lead five times in the second half, until Texas Wesleyan grabbed it for the last time with 14:47 left.
TWU coasted the remainder of the game and handed the Jays their eighth loss of the year.
The Bluejays gave up 47 rebounds and managed only 26 rebounds. They shot 32.2 percent for the game and 17.9 percent from the 3-point line.
Tyson Ratzlaff had a game-high 12 points, six rebounds and three assists to pace the Bluejays. Jeremiah Randall added 10 points and three boards.
Coming-The Bluejays, 5-9 overall and 3-1 in the KCAC, host Sterling College (9-5) Thursday night and Ottawa University (7-6) Saturday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.