ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Going into the Christmas break, the Tabor men’s and women’s basketball teams both find themselves at the top of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference’s standings.
The ninth-rated Bluejay women are tied for first with Ottawa at 4-0. Their record is all the more impressive because it includes road victories at two venues Tabor historically has struggled, Sterling and Southwestern.
Overall, the women are 9-3.
The Tabor men sit in a four-way tie for first at 3-1 withSouth- western, Sterling and Ottawa. The Bluejays are 6-5 overall.
The Bluejay men own an important road win over the Warriors while their lone conference loss came on the road at Winfield.
The women’s accomplishments have come courtesy of a combination of good offense and coach Rusty Allen’s trademark of stingy defense.
Offensively, Tabor ranks fourth in the KCAC in scoring at 69.7 points per contest while allowing 61.9 points per game.
In KCAC play, Tabor’s defense is No. 1 by allowing 52.3 points per outing while the offense averages 69.8 points, which is third in KCAC.
Tabor leads the conference in assists per game at 15.33 and, not coincidentally, in field goal percentage at 45.4 percent.
Tabor is third-best at 3-point accuracy at 35.1 percent (59-168).
The Bluejays average 10.67 steals per game, fourth in the KCAC. They lead in assist-to-turnover ration at 0.81- 184 assists and 227 turnovers.
Individually, Tabor athletes rank near the top in numerous categories.
Sophomore All-KCAC guard Stacie Herman is third in scoring at 15.3 points per outing while teammate Emily Vogts ranks sixth at 13.1. Two-time All-KCAC selection and honorable mention All-American Erica Hemmert ranks ninth at 12.7.
Herman and Vogts rank two and three, respectively, in field-goal percentage at 49.3 percent and 48.1 percent. Herman is the second best at 3-point accuracy, having hit 45.5 percent of her attempts.
Junior All-KCAC selection Donya Anderson leads the conference in rebounding at 10.08 boards per game while Hemmert, a guard, is 10th in conference play at 5.75 rebounds.
Anderson is second in steals at 3.42 per game.
Herman and Anderson rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in assists at 3.58 and 3.17 per game.
Anderson and Vogts are seventh and eighth in blocks per game at 1.17 and 1.08 per game, respectively.
Coach Don Brubacher’s men’s team ranks seventh in the KCAC in scoring at 67.7 points (71.5 in KCAC games) and are fifth in defense with a per-game average of 69.0 (64.5 points in KCAC play).
Tabor’s shooting struggles are illustrated in its field-goal percentage of 42.2, ranking them seventh in the KCAC. The Bluejays are shooting 34.2 percent (77-225) from behind the 3-point line, which is sixth in KCAC.
The Bluejays rank eighth in rebounds per game (33.9), fifth in steals (8.91) and sixth in assists (13.36).
Individually, two time All-KCAC performer Brad Gattis ranks fifth in scoring at 15.7 points per game. Gattis has made 16 3-point shots, but is the only Bluejay to crack the top-25 in scoring.
His 47.8 percent field goal accuracy (66-138) ranks the Hesston native seventh while his 5.91 rebounds per game rank him 11th.
Tabor junior Andy Brubacher is the KCAC’s fourth most-accurate 3-point shooter at 42.5 percent (17-40).
All-KCAC and honorable mention All-American guard Grant Brubacher is responsible for 1.73 steals per outing, sixth in KCAC, while teammates Gattis and Tyler Weinbrenner are tied for 10th at 1.55 steals per game.
Weinbrenner is also the league’s seventh-best assist man at 3.09 per game.
The Bluejay women return to action Friday, Dec. 30 at Chickasha, Okla., when they battle the University of Science and Arts. Conference play will resume Jan. 5 at home against co-leader Ottawa.
The Tabor men will host the Tabor Classic Dec. 30 and 31 and play Northwest Oklahoma State and McKendree College. KCAC action resumes Jan. 5 at home with co-leader Ottawa.