Tabor sweeps Kansas Wesleyan Feb. 9

The Tabor College men stayed in the thick of the KCAC title chase with an 80-71 win over Kansas Wesleyan Saturday night (Feb. 9) in Hillsboro.

Tabor took the lead for good, 12-11, on a field goal by Tyson Ratzlaff with 12:43 to play in the first half. By intermission, the Jays had built their largest lead of the half, 42-33, thanks to a 6-0 spurt in the final 46 seconds — a 3 -pointer by Grant Brubacher, a layup by Ratzlaff and a free throw by Brubacher.

After Tabor expanded its lead to as many as 19 points midway through the second half, the Coyotes started a slow climb back into contention. When KW’s Travis Rhodes hit a 3-pointer with 1:04, KW was within seven points, 78-71. But Ernest Nortey slammed home a dunk with 57 seconds left on an assist by Brubacher to establish the final margin.

Tabor had five players in double figures, led by Ratzlaff with 18. Jeremiah Randall and Nortey added 15 each and Grant Brubacher and Scott Brubacher each scored 11.

The Tabor women, meanwhile, boosted by 42 points combined from Rachelle Speers and Angela Kroeker, broke open a close game in the second half to beat KW, 72-53.

The first half was close, KW led by as many as three and Tabor by six. But Becky Jons’ field goal with 28 seconds left in the half put Tabor on top at intermission, 31-30.

KW scored the first basket coming out of the break, but when Kroeker nailed a 3-pointer at the 19:16 mark, Tabor regained the lead and stayed on top the rest of the way. In fact, Kroeker’s bucket ignited a 13-2 run over the next three and one-half minutes to give Tabor its biggest lead to that point, 45-34. The Jays led by as many as 23 with six minutes to play.

Speers led Tabor with 23 points on 8-of-19 shooting from the field and a 6-of-9 showing from the line. Kroeker poured in 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe. For the game, Tabor shot 46 percent from the field, one of their better offensive performances of the season.

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