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After a choppy start saw the teams combine to make just six shots in the first 4:41, the Tabor women found their groove and followed it to a 34-28 halftime lead and a 65-59 victory over the McPherson Bulldogs.
Tabor trailed by six points, 19-13, with 8:58 left in the first half, but turned the tables on the home team over the next 6:25.
Donya Anderson may have sparked a rally with a 3-pointer at 8:39, but she also lit a fire that kept on growing down the stretch.
Andrea Robinson used her dribbling skills to break down McPherson’s perimeter defense and kicked the ball out to Anderson for another long jumper that capped a 10-3 run with 6:47 to go.
The Bluejays took the lead for good when Emily Vogts buried a pair of foul shots 0:27 later, but McPherson contested the next 3:06 very closely.
After three consecutive whistles went against Tabor, Erin Runge posted a 2-pointer that made it 29-24 in the Bluejays’ favor.
Stacie Herman showed a quick flash of brilliance after that-first she applied pressure that led to a defensive stop against Jamie Harvey, who finished with 12 points for McPherson, and she finished the ensuing offensive play with a 3-point shot.
As the half wound down, Anderson anticipated a pass and tipped the ball away from Harvey, and Tabor’s senior center broke away with Herman running to her left.
Anderson sent a daft bounce pass to Herman, who scored the layup with four seconds to go.
The assist was one of eight on the night for Anderson, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Tabor played a tight game with the lead in the second half and finished off the Bulldogs in roughly the same way that one might expect of an anaconda.
Having already taken as much of a lead as they would need, the Bluejays matched McPherson point for point with methodical scoring.
And though the baskets rarely came easily or in great bunches, Tabor kept working the ball into the paint and never let the home team come within six points of tying the game.
Jenny Gaskell gave the team a 14-point lead, its biggest of the night, with a put-back bucket at 12:50.
Becky Bratcher gave McPherson 16 points and two lifts in the second half.
The first came in the form of a pair of free throws that led to a short-lived 6-0 burst that spanned less than a minute.
Runge and Vogts killed that run with a free throws at 11:05 and 9:44, respectively.
Bratcher blocked Anderson’s 2-point bid, but Anderson recovered the ball, gave a head fake and scored to push the lead back to 53-43 at 7:37.
Kirsten Watson followed with a 3-pointer off of an inbounds play 0:52 later, and the lead was back to 13 points.
But McPherson narrowed the margin to eight points on a layup at 4:13, and Bratcher scored on a short 2-point shot to make it 60-54 with 2:41 to go.
Anderson assisted on consecutive scores by Vogts and Nicole Ellis down the stretch, and Tabor took a 64-54 lead with 1:15, effectively ending McPherson’s bid for a comeback.
But the game was not officially over until Anderson grabbed a defensive rebound and dribbled out the final six seconds of the clock.
Tabor improved to 10-1 on the year and is tied with Ottawa and Sterling for the top spot in the KCAC.
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