OKWU men slam the door on Tabor’s basketball season, 114-86

The Tabor College men made the trip to Bartlesville, Okla., on Friday hoping to steal a road trip win from 20th-ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan University. It appeared the Bluejays were going to give them a fight, trailing by only 48-43 with a minute left in the first half. But back-to-back 3-point baskets by the Eagles may have been a knockout punch. The Bluejays faded in the second half on the way to a 114-86 loss to end their season.

Tabor never led in the first half after the Eagles scored the first four points following two Bluejay turn­overs. Jordan Horstick hit a 3-pointer at the 11-minute mark to bring Tabor to within one point at 24-25. But OKWU responded with a 9-2 run to lengthen their lead to 34-26. When Horstick nailed a pair of free throws with 2:05 left Tabor came within two points.

OKWU soared out of halftime with a 14-5 run in the first 5 minutes. Trailing 68-48 at that point, Tabor never made a serious challenge after that.

How good was Oklahoma Wesleyan on this night? The team made 21 of 32 3-point shots (65.6 percent), which was only slightly below their 68 percent shooting 15-22 from the free-throw line.

Four Eagles finished in double figures, led by Breiman Alexander with 34 points, including 9-of-11 shooting from behind the arc. Isaac Rowe added 21, Elbert Lawrence 17, KJ Malveau 16.

Tabor, meanwhile, managed only 45 percent success from the floor (30-65), including 11 of 31 from 3-point land. The only place the Bluejays were on par with the Eagles was at the free-throw line, where they made 15-22 just like the home team did.

Tabor’s two senior backcourt stars, Julian Winton and Joe Patterson, led the team in scoring, with 31 points for Winton and 22 for Patterson in their last game of their outstanding Tabor careers. TC senior Alan Urrutia tossed in 11 points and Horstick, a junior, added 12.

The loss ends Tabor’s season with a 14-15 record. OKWU improves to 23-8 and will move on to the KCAC semifinals.

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