ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
The Tabor College mens’ basketball team was as hot as a kettle of boiling water in the first half of Saturday’s 67-54 win over the McPherson College Bulldogs.
The Bluejays shot a searing 64.3 percent from behind the arc on 9-for-14 shooting.
Despite cooling off in the second half, the Bluejays avenged their earlier loss to the Bulldogs.
Tabor coach Don Brubacher said his team has improved since the last time the Jays faced McPherson.
“We’re playing better basketball in every respect,” Brubacher said. “We had trouble with consistent play tonight. We made a lot of 3-point shots in the first half to produce almost all of our offense. In the second half, we did a lot better job getting the ball down low and finishing around the basket.”
The last time the Jays faced the Bulldogs, McPherson’s Roy McDonald hurt Tabor with his shooting.
This time McDonald was held in check, finishing with four points and five assists while guarded closely by Scott Brubacher and Grant Brubacher.
The Tabor Bluejays took a 35-29 lead into the locker room at intermission.
In the second half, McPherson cut Tabor’s lead on several occasions, but the Bluejays grabbed rebound after rebound and hit their free throws in the closing minutes to seal the win.
Tabor’s Scott Brubacher continued his shooting excellence with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 from behind the arc. Ernest Nortey finished with 12 points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist. Tyson Ratzlaff added 10 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Jeremiah Randall came up big four the Jays on the glass, grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with his six points and three assists.
The Bluejays limited their turnovers to 10 while McPherson turned over the ball 16 times.
Southwestern-Jeremiah Randall had 23 points and seven rebounds to lead Tabor to a 66-51 win over the Southwestern Moundbuilders Jan. 24.
Trailing 2-1 in the opening moments of the game, the Bluejays grabbed an early lead and never looked back, taking a 35-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Tabor finished off the struggling Moundbuilders in the final half.
The Bluejays forced 17 turnovers and held the Moundbuilders to just 33.9 percent shooting from the field.
Saint Mary-Led by Scott Brubacher’s 21-point performance, Tabor took care of the Saint Mary Spires in Leavenworth, Monday, Jan. 21, 82-70, to claim sole possession of first place in the KCAC.
The Bluejays trailed 35-33 at halftime, but stayed in the game by taking care of the basketball and hitting shots when they needed them.
Brubacher finished with 21 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist. Jimmy Janzen added 18 points, seven boards and one assist.
Tyson Ratzlaff and Kyle Kopper each had 12 points. Ratzlaff also pulled down 11 rebounds, dished out three assists and snagged four steals.
Coming-With three wins last week, the Bluejays are 11-10 overall and 9-2 in the KCAC. Tabor hosts Friends University tomorrow night and Bethany College on Saturday.