Tabor completes sweep in Post Holiday Classic

The Tabor College basketball teams completed their sweep of their Post Holiday Classic with two wins Saturday night. The women started the evening with a 79-76 victory over Baker, and the men followed with an 85-71 win over Central Baptist. Nikki Lewis (1) shoots two in the first half against Baker Saturday night. Lewis led the Bluejays with a game-high 17 points in Tabor?s 79-76 victory over Baker.

WOMEN?The Bluejays opened their game against Baker with a display from behind the arc. Tabor nailed down three three-pointers?one each from Mallory Zuercher, Tonisha Dean and Janelle Rust?in the first 2:14 to claim a 9-7 lead. After Baker tied it, 9-9, the Bluejays enjoyed a 10-0 run for a double-digit, 19-9, advantage at the 13:38 mark. But Baker would not go quietly, outscoring Tabor 11-1 over the next 6:12 to tie the game, 20-20.

The game remained close until back-to-back three-pointers by Kaleigh Troxell and Rust gave the Bluejays a bit of separation, 29-22. Lewis scored the final eight points of the half, including a three-pointer at the buzzer, to give Tabor a 38-27 lead at the break.

But Baker narrowed Tabor?s lead to single digits 17 seconds into the second half and continued to chip away, drawing within 42-39 with 15:33 left in the game. The Wildcats hit a three-pointer to draw within 52-51 and hit a second three-point basket to tie it, 54-54.

Baker took a narrow lead, 58-56, with 6:51 to play, but a three-point play by Troxell put Tabor back in front by one. After the Wildcats hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 61, Tabor took control and never trailed again. Rust scored seven straight points for Tabor, following a three-point play with a three-point basket on which she was fouled. That free throw gave Tabor a 70-61 lead with 2:48 left to play.

Zuercher made a three-pointer for a 73-63 Tabor lead, but Baker continued to fight. The Wildcats answered with three three-point baskets in the final 1:13, including one at the buzzer, but Tabor held on to win by three.

Lewis led with a game-high 17 points. Rust added 16, Dean 14 and Troxell 10.

With the win, Tabor improved to 8-6 overall. Andrew Thomas (0) dunks the ball early in the second half Saturday night, giving Tabor a 41-32 lead over Central Baptist. Thomas led the Bluejays with a game-high 23 points in Tabor?s 85-71 win over the Mustangs.

MEN?Tabor fell behind at the start of Saturday?s game against Central Baptist, but Robbie Samuel scored six straight points to give the Bluejays their first lead, 10-9, at the 13:21 mark.

Less than 30 seconds later, a three-point basket gave Central Baptist its final lead, 12-10. But Tabor answered with a 12-0 run over the next three minutes?fueled by two three-pointers from JT Nemit and one from Cameron Rust?for a 22-12 lead with 9:54 to go before intermission.

The Mustangs surged 6-0 to draw within 22-18, but Tabor pulled away for a double-digit lead, 28-18, after an Andrew Thomas dunk. The Bluejays led by nine, 37-28, at halftime.

The teams traded scores after the break. Thomas scored eight of Tabor?s first 10 points after halftime to boost Tabor to a 47-35 lead with 16:36 remaining. Central Baptist drew within 54-48 before Nemit and Nick Sauer scored back-to-back three-pointers to again boost Tabor to a double-digit lead.

Central Baptist twice drew within seven points, but Tabor secured a comfortable double-digit advantage behind the shooting of Thomas who, during a span of just more than four minutes, scored 10 of 12 points for the Bluejays. That gave Tabor its largest lead of the night, 74-57, with 4:03 remaining.

Despite four three-point baskets by the Mustangs in the final four minutes of play, Tabor maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way, and won by 14, 85-71.

Thomas led with a game-high 23 points. Nemit added 11 and Sauer 10.

With the win, Tabor improved to 8-6 overall.

COMING?The Tabor men will host Haskell Indian Nations Monday at 7:30 p.m. Tabor will host McPherson Thursday. The women will play at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.

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