Bluejay women encounter rocky beginning to 2005 season

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College women’s basketball team struggled in its second game at Point Lookout, Mo., Saturday afternoon, losing 67-42 to John Brown University.

“John Brown is an NAIA Division I school rated in the top 10 in the nation, but we played very poorly,” coach Rusty Allen said. “We made some improvements defensively from our first outing and really defended in the first half very well.

“But offensively, we just looked like a different team,” he said. “We had way too many turnovers and didn’t execute with the basketball-and they put a lot more pressure on the ball.”

The pressure forced the Bluejays into 24 turnovers that John Brown converted into 30 points. Tabor, conversely, scored only six points on John Brown mistakes.

The result was a 33-21 deficit at halftime.

The Bluejays shot 36.7 percent from the field (18 for 49) for the game, including only two of 14 (14.3 percent) 3-pointers.

John Brown hit 40.7 percent from the field (22 of 54), including a torrid 11 of 21 3-pointers.

John Brown connected on 12 of 18 charity shots compared to Tabor’s four of five from the line.

Stacie Herman and Erica Hemmert led Tabor in scoring with nine points each while Donya Anderson and Emily Vogts both added eight.

The Bluejays out-rebounded John Brown 35-31, led by Anderson’s 10 and Vogts’s eight.

“We’re battling some adversity right now and we’re going to have to develop some mental toughness if we’re going to get through it and win some games,” Allen said. “I’m not pleased with this weekend.

“Overall, I don’t feel we played very good basketball even though it’s early in the season-but that’s OK because we got beat by a couple of very good teams,” he added. “We got exposed for what we need to work on and over the next week we’ll see how much we can improve.”

The loss dropped Tabor to 0-2 for the season.

College of the Ozarks- The Bluejays, ranked fourth in the nation in the preseason poll, found the going tough in their season opener at Point Lookout, Mo, losing to ninth-ranked College of the Ozarks, 91-80.

“College of the Ozarks were really on fire and they played really well,” coach Rusty Allen said. “They moved the ball well and I just don’t think we were really ready to play defensively against a team that played at that level at this time of the year.

“We just didn’t close on the ball quickly enough, their center had a great game and got us into foul trouble early and we became less aggressive as a result,” he added. “Once you allow a team to establish inside, you begin to give a lot more open looks outside-and they just nailed them all.”

In that first half, Tabor connected on 16 of 34 field goal attempts (47.1 percent) but only three of nine from beyond the 3-point arc.

College of the Ozarks, meanwhile, drained 18 of 35 field goal shots (51.4 percent), including five of 12 (41.7 percent) 3-pointers.

As a result, Tabor trailed 51-43 at the break.

Things didn’t improve much in the second half. Tabor hit 45.2 percent (14 of 41) of its field-goal tries, including three of 11 3-pointers.

College of the Ozarks countered with a 37.9 percent shooting (11 of 29), including six of 14 from the arc (42.9 percent).

Erica Hemmert led Tabor with 23 points. Emily Vogts added 15 and Donya Anderson and Stacie Herman each scored 12.

Anderson completed her first double/double of the season, hauling in 13 rebounds.

Tabor was out-rebounded, 40-33.

“Offensively, we really played pretty well,” Allen said. “I can’t really complain about putting 80 points on the board.”

The Bluejays committed only 10 turnovers.

College of the Ozarks was led by 6-foot, 3-inch center Cara Painter with 23 points.

Tabor was without the services of Katie Fast, who was battling the flu, and Jill Hein and Shannon Kroeker, who are members of the volleyball team.

Coming- Tabor was scheduled to play at Newman University Tuesday night before playing in the Sterling Classic this weekend.

On Friday at 2 p.m., Tabor plays Northwest Oklahoma State and then plays Mid-America Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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