TC women bounced out by Indiana Wesleyan

With a pair of early 3-pointers, the Bluejays took an early lead over their undefeated opponents from Indiana Wesleyan.

Tabor led by margins of 6-4, 8-6 and 12-10 in the opening phase of the first half of Friday’s second-round contest.

Neither team led by more than two until the Wildcats scored consecutive baskets to convert a 12-12 tie into a 17-12 lead at 6:45.

Nicole Ellis stopped the run with a pair of free throws that made it 17-14.

Then Stacie Herman used a crisp stop-and-go move in traffic to get open for a pull-up jumper, which she buried to make it 17-16.

On the next possession, Herman assist as Ellis put in a 2-pointer with 5:20 to go. Tabor took its fourth lead of the afternoon, 18-17.

But Indiana Wesleyan closed out the half on a 10-4 run, and opened the second half with another 10-4 run, giving the undefeated top-seeded Wildcats a 45-34 lead with 16:01 to play.

In one back-breaking sequence, the Wildcats missed a 3-pointer, but the offensive rebound found its way into Liz Howerth’s hands.

Howerth slashed to the basket and drew a foul for a potential 3-point play at 17:08. She missed the foul shot, but came up with the rebound and scored again at 17:06.

The Wildcats pushed their lead to 37-26, but Tabor turned up the pressure.

Erin Runge hounded Howerth into a turnover at 15:25. Herman took charge at the other end, crashing into a Wildcat and drawing a foul.

The free throws made it 37-30, and Runge got to Howerth again on the next possession.

Howerth had a bead on a short shot at 14:55 when Runge came across the and blocked her shot. Unluckily for the Bluejays, the ball came back to Howerth, who got an assist on a 3-pointer by Stephanie Culp.

The triple was Indiana Wesleyan’s only score during a 2:25 span as Tabor mounted a 10-3 charge to cut the margin to 40-34.

From that point on, the Wildcats outpaced the Bluejays 21-10.

Howerth finished with 26 points and Culp scored 14 for Indiana Wesleyan.

Ellis (10 points), Vogts (11) and Herman (12) finished in double-digits for the Bluejays.

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