Bluejays battle Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes

The fifth-rated Tabor College women wrapped up their second consecutive undisputed KCAC title Saturday night with an 81-78 win in Salina over the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes.

Tabor led 43-29 at halftime and extended its lead to 60-42 with 10:32 to play, but Kansas Wesleyan reverted to physical tactics and the ploy nearly worked as the Bluejays hung on for a narrow three point win.

Tabor was paced offensively by Erica Hemmert who poured in 20 points, Stacie Herman who added 16 and Jill Hein with 11.

Khristy Santee led the Coyotes with 16.

The Bluejays connected on 27 of 51 field goal attempts (53 percent) including eight of 17 (47 percent) from the 3-point line and 19 of 25 (76 percent) from the free throw line.

Kansas Wesleyan was good on 24 of 70 field goal attempts (34 percent) and equaled the Bluejays from long distance, hitting eight of 17 3-pointers while sinking 22 of 32 (69 percent) from the line.

With its 20th straight win, Tabor improves to 23-3 overall and 16-0 in the KCAC while the Coyotes fall to 14-11 and 7-9.

The Tabor men looked to break a modest four-game losing streak and hit 14 of 25 first half shots (56 percent) to take a 37-34 lead into halftime but faltered in the game’s final six minutes to lose their fifth straight, 71-61.

Tabor trailed 56-55 with 6:08 remaining but got out scored 15-6 over the game’s final minutes.

Andy Brubacher led the Bluejays with 12 pionts, hitting four-of-seven 3-point shots while brother Grant added 11 points for Tabor who hit just seven of 26 from the field (27 percent) in the second half to finish the game hitting 41 percent (21-of-51).

Kansas Wesleyan was led by Marcus Faubion with 20 points, Jeff Baron with 18 and Anthony Smith added 10 as the Coyotes hit 24 of 59 (41 percent) from the field but just four of 22 (18 percent) from the 3-point arc.

Tabor managed to connect on 11 of 14 free throws (79 percent) while Kansas Wesleyan was 19 of 26 (73 percent ) from the stripe.

With the loss, Tabor falls to 11-14 overall and 8-8 in conference play while Kansas Wesleyan improves to 13-11 and 9-7.

Tabor travels to Leavenworth Thursday to battle Saint Mary before wrapping up the regular season Saturday with a home date with Bethel College.

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