ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW OTTOSON
The Tabor College women extended their non-conference winning streak to four games with a pair of wins at the Sterling College Classic on Friday and Saturday.
In a 63-52 win over St. Gregory’s University, Tabor hit only eight of 22 field goals through the first half.
Despite shooting a low percentage from the field, Tabor held a four-point advantage going into halftime. The Bluejays made good on seven of eight first-half free throws and a strong defensive effort held St. Gregory’s to 33 percent from the floor.
The Bluejays pulled away from the Cavaliers with 37 second-half points.
Senior center Donya Anderson made six of nine shots from the floor, including one from beyond the 3-point arc. Three free throws gave Anderson 16 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds.
Emily Vogts scored a team-high 17 points against the Cavaliers and added six rebounds. Freshman point guard Andrea Robinson chimed in with 14 points and six boards.
Nicole Ellis, who compiled 10 points and a team-leading seven rebounds, came out even stronger in Tabor’s 73-55 win over Northwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Tabor trailed the Rangers 17-13 early in the first half, but went on a 27-5 run to end the half with an 18-point lead.
Coach Rusty Allen saw tremendous positives and plenty of room for improvement on display.
“Usually you don’t have a game like that this early in the season. It was hands down our best effort of the year. We played hard, executed, ran the court, shot free throws, rebounded. For this time of year, I was really pleased.”
Stifling defense in the second half held the Rangers to 29 percent shooting and denied any thought of a comeback.
The Bluejays, by comparison, shot 50 percent from the floor and nailed 21 of 26 free throws in their most complete game of the season so far.
The game marked a significant moment for Ellis, as well. The senior forward tallied 20 points and showed tremendous efficiency whenever she touched the ball.
Ellis missed only three shots in 30:47 of action.
Of course, it helps when you’re flanked on the low block by Anderson and Vogts, who both play perceptively and pass with precision.
Vogts led Tabor with four assists; she added six rebounds and 11 points in along with providing a defensive presence in the post and on the perimeter.
Anderson and Kirsten Watson also put up double-digit points. Anderson led the team with 10 rebounds and added three assists.
“I don’t know if we’ve mastered our system, but we sure played it well (on Saturday),” Allen said. “We’ll meet teams that will put more pressure on us than they were able to, and then we’ll find out if we’ve mastered the system.”
Coming-Tabor (4-1) travels to Salina for the Kansas Wesleyan Classic this weekend. The Bluejays will meet Missouri Baptist at 6 p.m. Friday followed by Texas Wesleyan at 2 p.m. Saturday.