Tabor men beat Southern Nazarene. 85-80

The Tabor Bluejays appeared to be in for a long night when their game with Southern Nazarene University finally reached halftime. The Jays were trailing “The Crimson Storm” from Bethany, Okla., 41-32, and were severely outsized by their opponents — and Tabor was wasn’t jelling well on the court.

But the Bluejays stepped up their defensive pressure, started making their freethrows and generally found their stride on the way to a big 85-80 comeback win at the Sterling College Warrior Classic Friday.

The win was the first of the season for Tabor, and raised its record to 1-2.

SNU showed no signs of a letting up in the early moments of the second half, taking a 47-34 lead, But SNU’s Andre Murray, who had just scored the last two buckets for the Crimson Storm, was called for a foul, then a technical foul and was tossed from the game.

Micah Ratzlaff made all four free throws to cut the lead to nine points.

From that point on, the Bluejays slowly clawed their way back into the contest. A bucket on the fast break by Brad Gattis put the Bluejays on top for the first time since the early moments of the game, 73-72 with 2:36 to play.

SNU took one last lead at 79-78, but Gattis scored again with 23.5 seconds left for Tabor. After SNU added a free throw to tie the game, Tyson Ratzlaff was fouled on the drive and hit both free throws for an 82-80 lead. The Bluejay grabbed an SNU rebound and Grant Brubacher drove the lane, scored and was fouled. He made the old-fashioned 3-point play, then stole the inbounds pass to seal the win.

Micah Ratzlaff led the Jays with 22 points and Grant Brubacher came off the bench to contribute 17. Scott Brubacher and Gattis each scored 13 for Tabor.

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