Tabor bites Bulldogs

The Tabor College women's basketball team scored 41 points in the
second half of Saturday's 68-50 win over McPherson, and the men's team
won sole possession of fifth place in the KCAC with a 71-65 victory.

Zack
Vanselow secured Tabor's sixth conference win of the season with a
fast-break dunk set up by Kyle Kroeker's long outlet pass for a 69-65
lead with almost no time left. Led by Vanselow, who posted 15 points in
12 first-half minutes, Tabor had opened a 38-22 halftime lead?but
instead of running away with a rout, the Bluejays ran into brick wall.
Physical defense and Bulldog guard Brandon Cameron's 14 second-half
points sparked a McPherson rally that kept the outcome in doubt until
the final seconds. With the outcome all but certain after Vanselow's
dunk, Antowine Lamb was called for a technical foul with two seconds
left?and Vanselow buried both free throws to finish with 23 points.

But
until that point, the hard-charging Bulldogs threatened to take control
of a game that Tabor led by as much as 20 points. McPherson closed a
38-18 deficit to 38-22 at halftime, and closed within 48-40 midway
through the second half despite back-to-back blocked shots by Orson
Thomas. McPherson forward Mike Reece hit a layup-and-1 to cut Tabor's
lead to seven, and Jared Underwood cut it to six with a 3-pointer with
just over eight minutes to go. Dwayne Thomas made it a 4-point game
with a 2-pointer, but Kroeker answered with a 3-pointer over Underwood
to stabilize the situation for Tabor.

A moment later Micah Hiett
restored the Bluejays lead to 12 with a trey from nearly the same exact
spot?the deep right wing corner?despite Dwayne Thomas' defensive close
out.

McPherson rallied at the free throw line, closing the gap
to seven on Reece's foul shots with 3:15 left. Cameron knocked down a
2-pointer, and the Bulldogs forced an ugly turnover on Tabor's ensuing
inbounds. McPherson scored rapidly, as Cameron made it 67-65 in the
final minute.

Then, with McPherson pressure causing chaos in the
Bluejays backcourt, Kroeker spotted Vanselow, who had faked out his
mark near the time line and was running unchecked toward the Tabor
hoop. Vanselow caught Kroeker's pass in the center circle, took several
dribbles, and threw down the clinching dunk.

While Vanselow's
finisher brought the loudest cheers, and while Kroeker (with 15) was
the only other Bluejay to score double-digits, nearly the entire
varsity roster had contributed to the win. Ten players scored, and the
Bluejay defense trimmed nine points from McPherson's season average
output.

The women's team used 20 points from Kirsten Watson, 11
points apiece from Stephanie Silvas and Gina Hullet, and 10 rebounds
from Sarah Wyckoff to keep the last-place Bulldogs at an arm's length.?

A
Chelsea Malone 3-pointer gave Tabor a 17-10 lead, which Watson upped to
20-13 with a left wing trey. McPherson closed the gap to 21-19, but a
Silvas 2-pointer and a Watson triple lifted the Bluejays to a 27-21
halftime lead.

When McPherson closed to 31-28, Watson ramped
Tabor's lead to seven with 3-pointers on successive possessions. Andrea
Robinson drained a trey for a 44-34 Bluejays lead, and Watson pushed it
to 13 with another three?a right wing bomb?on a fast break run-out by
Robinson.

McPherson's final swing made it 62-48, but Tabor's
counter-punch made it a 20-point lead one possession after Hullet left
the game with what appeared to be a head injury.

Tabor's next games are at Southwestern Thursday and at home against Kansas Wesleyan Saturday.

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