Tabor College experienced its own version of a Big Mac Attack Thursday night, and in the end both the women?s and the men?s teams bit off more than they could chew in their games at McPherson College.
The women trailed by as many as 20 points about 14 minutes into the second half before finishing with a 64-49 loss. The men, meanwhile, were hoping for a second straight upset of a KCAC leader, but instead got chewed up by the Bulldogs? hot first-half shooting en route to a humbling 76-48 defeat.
WOMEN — The Bluejays battled the Bulldogs pretty well through most of the first half. When Kaitlyn Mary drained back-to-back three-pointers a few seconds on either side of the 6:00 mark, Tabor led 22-16. But McPherson responded with a 16-2 run to end the half with a 33-24 lead. Tabor committed nine turnovers during that stretch and finished with 18 for the half.
When the Bulldogs started the second half with six unanswered points, it appeared the game would get ugly quickly. But Tabor battled to hold on even as McPherson established its biggest lead of the night at 48-28 when the Bulldogs? Elice Frey sank a pair of free throws with 14:50 left in the half.
But suddenly, McPherson went cold while Mary heated up for Tabor by scoring five unanswered points over the next five minutes. From that point on, the two teams played about evenly. Mary scored Tabor?s last nine points on three three-pointers in the final 5:53 to finish with 23 points for the game.
The loss dropped the last-place Bluejays to 1-10 in conference play and 3-18 for the season while McPherson improved to 7-4 and 12-10.
MEN — As if McPherson wasn?t imposing enough with a 9-1 conference record and a 20-2 mark overall, the Bulldogs happened to have one of their better shooting halves of the season on the way to a 50-26 halftime lead. McPherson drained nine three-pointers along the way.
Ryan Chippeaux was an early spark for Tabor, scoring five points in the first two minutes, including a dunk on a nice feed from Kyle Wallace. But with the scored tied at 5-5, McPherson ran off eight straight points and began building a lead Tabor could not overcome.
When Michael Janzen scored for Tabor at the 12:47 mark to pull the Jays back to within 18-11, McPherson delivered a game-changing haymaker with a 12-0 run over the next four minutes for a 30-11 lead. Even though Tabor rediscovered its shooting eye the rest of the half, they couldn?t stop the Bulldogs from scoring on the other end. McPherson went into the locker room with a comfortable 50-26 lead.
Both teams cooled off in the second half, but Tabor?s thermostat bottomed out at just over 18 percent accuracy (7-38) as the Bluejays threw up a bushel of three-point shots in a desperate attempt for points — but only two hit the mark.
Chippeaux, who scored 13 points in the first half, finished as Tabor?s top scorer without scoring another point the rest of the game.
The loss dropped Tabor to 5-6 in the KCAC and 9-13 overall, while McPherson improved to 10-1 and 21-2.