Coyotes maul Tabor 85-71

The Tabor College men's basketball team hung with Kansas Wesleyan
for the first 9:16 Thursday night in Hillsboro. Then Mychel Henderson's
deadeye shooting took over, turning a 20-17 Bluejay lead into a 23-20
Coyote advantage with consecutive 3-pointers.

Henderson continued
to shell the Bluejays from beyond the arc, scoring two more triples
during a 32-8 run that effectively ended the game heading into
halftime. He scored 19 points in the first period and finished with 27.

But
in the second half, with the eventual outcome all but certain, the
Bluejays? limited Henderson's touches and forced 11 turnovers during a
15-3 run that began with Jared Hett knocking down two foul shots with
10:23 to go.

While the Coyote offense sputtered through a parade
of turnovers and lousy shots, Tabor's accelerated. Orson Thomas
followed Hett's free throws with a tip drill lay-in, and Zach Vanselow
banked in a 6-foot jumper assisted by Kyle De Blonk.

Thomas drew
a foul and knocked down his free throws, then set up Jordan Funk for
short jumper with a nice interior pass. Then Vanselow earned a trip to
the charity stripe, fouling out Tony Boone in the process. He hit both
free throws.

Then Aaron Whitelaw set up Funk for another short
shot. Funk converted, making it 69-56 with 5:56 left.? K-W called time
out, and Henderson reentered the game after a prolonged rest.

With
Thomas matching Henderson's every move, the Coyotes continued to
sputter. But with more room to manuever in the paint, the visitors
began to attack the basket with ferocity. Rewarded repeatedly with foul
shots for their effort, and scoring their first field goals in 3:58,
Kansas Wesleyan knocked back the late charge and cruised to an 85-71
win.

Thomas led the Bluejays with 14, and six others scored 7
points or more: Funk (10), Whitelaw (9), Hett (8), Mike Rousell (8),
Vanselow (8) and Kyle Kroeker (7).

A loss by Friends (6-3) at Ottawa (6-3) broke a four-way tie at the
top of the conference standings heading into the evening. Wins by
Sterling and Southwestern kept them, along with K-W, in first place at
7-2.? The Tabor men are 3-6 in KCAC games.

The
Tabor women defeated the Coyotes 55-54 despite being outscored 7-2
during the final 3:24. The Bluejays used full-court defense effectively
during the first half and got 9 points apiece from Kirsten Watson and
Stacie Herman to build a 32-25 lead at intermission.

But K-W limited both veteran guards during the second half?holding Watson without a shot attempt?to enable the late rally.

Tabor
used an 8-2 run to open a 40-27 lead 4:51 into the second, but the
Coyotes scored 12 consecutive points, making it 40-39 with 10:30 to
play. Emily Luckeroth led the charge for K-W, scoring consecutive
3-pointers at 13:24 and 11:09.

Chelsea Malone broke the run with
a layup assisted by Tasia Johnson at 10:19. Then Herman banked in a
runner, and followed up with an assist on a layup by Jordan Crosson.
These scores were bracketed by a pair of short range shots by Khristy
Santee.

Stephanie Silvas made it a five-point game with a pullup jumper one step inside the foul line.

Then
Johnson read the ensuing inbounds pass and made freshman guard LaCole
Wilkenson force a pass toward Kayleen Dittmer. Herman stepped up behind
Dittmer and planted her feet, and Dittmer, unaware of Herman's
position, turned abruptly into her and was called for the offensive
foul.

But the Bluejays did not capitalize on the possession,
and the offense struggled to score the rest of the way. Herman hit two
foul shots with 4:12 remaining, and Johnson converted a 3-point play at
3:52 that put Tabor in the driver's seat, 53-47.

The wheels
nearly came off. After a bucket by Jennie Vopat, Luckeroth hit another
3-pointer. Leading 53-52, Brittany Roth sank a pair of foul shots to
make it a 3-point game.

After Charessa Gray cut it to one with an
offensive rebound and layup at the 16.1 second mark, the Coyotes had
three chances to take the lead. The first was set up by a pair of
missed free throws after Luckeroth whacked Herman with 14.5 seconds
left. Johnson rebounded K-W's missed opoortunity and was fouled with
5.1 ticks to go, and two misses sent the Coyotes running full-tilt into
a 3-point shot that clanged ever so slightly off of the back of the
iron as time expired.

Luckeroth led all scorers with 18 points. Herman led Tabor with 13, followed by Watson (9) and Joanna Pyle (9).

Tabor visits Bethany on Saturday. The women tip off at 5 p.m., with the men's game to follow at 7.

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