Bluejay men put up big win over Bethel; women fall by five

The Tabor men came away with a big win tonight over conference opponent Bethel College, 75-57, to improve to 7-10 overall and 3-3 in the KCAC. The win comes after a tough loss to Bethany College Thursday. The Tabor women hoped to follow up their victory Thursday with a win tonight, but after a close contest that saw seven ties and 10 lead changes they let it slip away in the final seconds for a 68-63 loss that puts them at 3-13 and 1-5 for the season. 

Men – Both teams started off the night a bit sluggish, with the score only topping out at 12-5, Bluejays, after eight minutes of play time. The ‘Jays picked up the pace a bit as the half wore on, with Phillip Jimenez coming off the bench for four points and Michael Janzen chipping in four as well in the next eight minutes to help Tabor to a 24-11 lead with 4:11 remaining.

But the Bluejay really started heating up the hardwood in the last three minutes of the first half. Max Frise sparked the scoring spurt with a dunk off a steal at 2:42 and four back-to-back points at the line before Jimenez drained the first three-pointer of the game with two minutes left, giving Tabor a 31-15 lead. Cody Arnold, a senior trying to come back from a serious of injury-related surgeries, sank a three-pointer at 1:27. Frise put the exclamation point on the Bluejays’ first-half performance with a dramatic dunk with six seconds left to put Tabor on top, 37-21, at the break. 

If the Bluejays were hot to end the first half, they were blazing at the start of the second. Frise pounded home his third dunk of the night two minutes into the second half and Kyle Wallace came off the bench to combine with Jimenez, Lawson Kingsley and Arnold to drain six three-point shots in the first seven-and-a-half minutes of play time. At the end of Tabor’s 22-point scoring burst, they held a 59-30 margin over the Threshers. 

A strong Tabor performance off the bench helped the Bluejays maintain at least a 20-point lead until the final three seconds of the game, when the Threshers snuck in a basket for the final 18-point margin. 

The scoring depth of the Bluejays carried them to victory, with Tabor boasting 44 points off the bench and both of the Bluejays’ top scorers, Jimenez and Frise, coming in off the bench to score 13 and 11 points, respectively. Tabor had 10 players put points on the board, including Janzen and Kingsley with nine each and Wallace adding eight. The Bluejays went 7-12 from three-point range in the second half, helping them to a 40 percent game average and giving them 27 points to Bethel’s six from beyond the arc. 

In fact, the Bluejays won at nearly every aspect of the game, picking up 11 steals to Bethel’s five, out-rebounding them, 39-35, and making 19 points off turnovers to the Threshers’ 10. 

Women – Tabor fell by just five points to the Threshers, their ninth loss this season by 10 points or less. They came out ready to play, beginning with a 14-5 scoring burst in the first six minutes of the game. But Bethel chipped away at their lead to go on top, 22-21, at 7:46 to spark a tough back-and-forth battle in the remaining minutes of the first half. The Threshers sank four three-pointers in the last five minutes, but Tabor’s Molly Dick, a freshman coming in to play tonight for injured starter Brittany Shaklee, hit the floor but made a basket with 45 seconds left to allow Bethel a slim 34-33 lead going into the break. 

An extremely physical, back-and-forth battle dragged on through the second half, with the game being tied six times and neither team gaining more than a three-point lead. But the Bluejays made some mistakes in the key last moments of the game, allowing Bethel seven points, including four from the line, in the final 54 seconds. Whitney Frise sank a three-pointer with just three seconds left, but unlike Thursday, her late basket was not enough tonight to pull her team out of the hole. 

Katlyn Mary led the Bluejays in scoring with 11 points, but Dick and Hannah Paust chipped in eight points. Tabor had a 36 percent shooting average from the field, close to Bethel’s 39, but the Threshers were 50 percent from beyond the arc and the Bluejays were 40 percent from three-point range. Tabor did win on the boards, pulling down 40 rebounds to Bethel’s 36, but the latter had 11 steals to the Bluejays’ six and had five fewer turnovers. 

Coming up – Tabor is scheduled for back-to-back conference games, hosting Friends Thursday before traveling to Sterling Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men Thursday, and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. for Saturdays match-up. 

Written By
More from Katie Morford
Tabor men extend win streak to five; women fall after leading at halftime
The Tabor men took care of business tonight at Friends University, hanging...
Read More