Solid defense propels Tabor women past Southwestern, 65-45

Jurnee ReidThe Tabor College women’s basketball team used a solid defensive effort to defeat Southwestern in the KCAC tournament quarterfinals Thursday, 65-45.

The Bluejays forced 23 Moundbuilder turnovers, which translated into 20 points for Tabor. In addition, Tabor kept the visitors off the charity stripe—Southwestern was 3-for-7 at the line—and limited the ‘Builders’ effectiveness from beyond the arc. From three-point range, the ‘Builders shot with 29 percent accuracy (4-for-14).

Tabor, meanwhile, made 44 percent of its field goal attempts (24-for-54), including 7-for-20 from three (35 percent). The Bluejays started the game with an 8-2 run and burst to a 15-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Southwestern turned the ball over eight times in the period and made just four of 12 field goal attempts (33 percent).

Tabor continued to build its lead in the second quarter. Kyli Webber capped an 11-3 Bluejay run with a three-pointer with 3:51 left in the half to increase Tabor’s margin to 26-11. Tabor led by as many as 33-14 and held a 34-16 advantage at halftime. Kaleigh Troxell scored seven of her nine first-half points in the second quarter to lead Tabor’s scoring effort at halftime.

When Tabor made just one of its first nine attempts in the third quarter, Southwestern used a 9-2 run to close the gap to 36-25. After that, though, Tena Loewen scored in the paint to ignite an 8-2 Bluejay run to the end of the period, which concluded with Tabor leading, 44-27, after Morgan Ediger drained a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

Both teams’ scoring increased in the fourth quarter, with Tabor holding the edge, 21-18. The Bluejays led by as many as 24, 65-41, when Ediger scored with 2:10 to play, and Tabor cruised to the 20-point win.

Ediger led all scorers with 15 points. Jurnee Reid scored 11, and Loewen 10.

Coming—Tabor will host Saint Mary in the semifinals Saturday at 7 p.m. The Spires come into the game after defeating Sterling, 72-50. The winner will play either Friends or Kansas Wesleyan Monday in the championship at Hartman Arena at 8 p.m.

In other quarterfinal action, Friends defeated Oklahoma Wesleyan, 76-45, while Kansas Wesleyan defeated Ottawa, 68-61.

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