Bluejays lose final games of Tabor Classic

Both Tabor College basketball teams lost their final games of the Tabor Classic to NAIA Division I opponents Saturday night. The women lost to Benedictine, 47-43. The men lost to Missouri Valley, 76-54.
Tena Loewen looks to pass the ball during the first half against Benedictine Saturday. Loewen scored eight points in Tabor?s 47-43 loss.

Women?Tabor again struggled offensively in a four-point lost to Benedictine.

In the first half, Tabor squandered a five-point lead and faced a five-point deficit at halftime. With the teams locked at 12, Kaleigh Troxell scored a three-pointer and followed with a two-point basket that put Tabor in front, 17-12. The teams battled to a 23-23 tie with 6:02 left in the first half, but after that, a spell of chilly Bluejay shooting allowed the Ravens to build a five-point margin at the break, 28-23.

The Ravens continued to build their lead with an 8-0 burst after halftime. In similar fashion to the night before, Tabor struggled to score, managing only four points in the first nine minutes of the second half, which allowed the Ravens to build their lead to 41-27 with 11:10 to play.

Then something clicked for the Bluejays, and with the defense fueling its offense, Tabor rattled off 14 straight points. Mallory Zuercher tied the game at 41 with a three with 4:57 to go.

But with a couple Tabor misses and a turnover, Benedictine?s Jackie Ziesel scored back-to-back baskets, then Tabor missed three straight shots. Sam Short broke the scoring drought with a basket at 1:02 that brought Tabor within 45-43, then Benedictine missed two shots. With a chance to tie the game, Tabor turned the ball over on its next possession, and Ziesel scored with 23 seconds left, increasing the margin to four. Tabor missed its final two attempts.

Short led Tabor with 11 points. Malik Brooks makes a layup off a turnover early in the first half against Missouri Valley Saturday. Brooks led the Bluejays with 16 points in Tabor?s 76-54 loss.

Men?Aside from two ties, Tabor trailed the duration of Saturday?s 22-point loss to Missouri Valley.

With Tabor trailing 8-4, Andrew Thomas stole the ball and dunked it in transition. He followed with a second basket that tied the game. But the Vikings outscored Tabor 16-2 over the next six minutes to stake a double-digit, 24-10, lead with 7:57 left before halftime.

With a three-pointer, Malik Brooks ignited a 6-0 run that closed the gap to single digits at 6:12, but the game?s leading scorer, Brad Hamilton, fired off his third of four threes in the period 10 seconds later, and Missouri Valley maintained a double-digit margin the duration of the half for a 42-24 margin at the break.Andrew Thomas dunks the ball during the first half against Missouri Valley Saturday. The basket brought Tabor within 8-6. Thomas scored 13 points in Tabor?s 76-54 loss.

Missouri Valley shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half (16-30), including 60 percent from three (6-10). Tabor, meanwhile, managed just 28.6 percent from the field (6-21), including 22.2 percent from three (2-9).

The Vikings burst out of the locker room to their largest lead of the night, 49-24, just more than two minutes into the half. Brooks made three three-pointers in a five-minute span, and a Thomas dunk assisted by Dewayne Biggs brought Tabor within 55-39. Chance LeBlanc and Justin Malan combined for Tabor?s next 13 points, during which time the Bluejays closed the gap to 64-52 with 5:44 to play, their closest margin of the half.

Missouri Valley responded with six points before Thomas and Raviel Burton traded dunks. Tabor?s final three possessions ended in a turnover and two missed shots, and Burton polished the Vikings? 22-point win with a dunk to end scoring for the game. Dewayne Biggs draws a foul on the way to the basket during the first half against Missouri Valley Saturday. He made both free throws to bring Tabor within 24-16. Biggs scored six points in Tabor?s 76-54 loss.

Tabor committed 22 turnovers in the game and shot 34.8 percent from the field (16-46). Missouri Valley shot 52.6 percent from the field (30-57).

Brooks led Tabor with 16 points. Thomas added 13.

Coming?Tabor will resume KCAC play Thursday at Bethel. The women play at 6 p.m., and the men will play at 8 p.m.

For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13

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