Tabor loses two to Friends in regular season finale

Tabor dropped two games to Friends in the regular season finale Saturday night. The women lost, 72-61, and the men dropped the game in overtime, 111-103.Tena Loewen scores to tie the game at 14 against Friends Saturday. Loewen scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in Tabor?s 72-61 loss.

WOMEN?In a battle for second place in the KCAC, Tabor?s bid to upset 21st-ranked Friends fell short, 72-61.

Tabor shot only 28.6 percent from the field in the first half (8-28) and got off to a slow start. Friends built an 8-0 lead before Tonisha Dean hit a three-pointer at the 15:47 mark to get Tabor on the board.

The Bluejays narrowed the gap to 12-10 when Dean followed an Erin Maxwell basket with a three-pointer. Hannah Paust added two free throws, and when Tena Loewen scored after a Falcon turnover, the game was tied at 14. But from there, Friends outscored Tabor 15-4 with the help of three threes to stake a 29-18 advantage with 4:21 left in the half. The teams traded baskets, and the half ended with Friends leading, 35-23.

Tabor narrowed the gap to 37-28 with a basket by Dean and consecutive three-pointer by Mallory Zuercher. The teams traded scores until the Falcons made seven straight points to lead, 48-32, with 8:48 left in the game. Kayla Wilgers sandwiched a Falcon three with two threes of her own, but still, the Bluejays trailed by double figures.

That changed, however, when a 7-0 Tabor run brought the Bluejays within 55-47 when Loewen made a basket with 5:17 to play. Wilgers made another three, and later, Lewis made two three-pointers in less than a minute?s time to close the gap to 64-58 with 2:01 left.

A combination of Tabor turnovers and missed shots contributed to an 8-0 Falcon run after that, which proved to be a deficit too big to overcome. Lewis made one last three-pointer with 19.2 seconds left for the final 72-61 score.

Tabor shot 36.8 percent from the field in the game (21-57). Lewis and Dean shared top scoring honors for Tabor with 14 points each. Andrew Thomas scores the first two points in overtime for a 95-93 Tabor lead over Friends. Thomas scored 15 points in Tabor?s 111-103 loss.

MEN?The Bluejays battled 23rd-ranked Friends to a 93-93 tie at the end of regulation, but Tabor could not hold off the KCAC-leading Falcons in overtime and fell, 111-103.

Friends opened the game with a three-pointer, but Nick Sauer answered with one of his own 14 seconds later. Tabor took its first lead when Lance Carter and Andrew Thomas scored consecutive baskets for a 7-5 advantage. The next 2:30 included five three-pointers. Tabor?s two threes came from Carter, and the teams were locked at 16 with 10:51 left in the half.

The teams engaged in a tight battle that remained within three points until Friends gained a 33-28 lead with a three-pointer at 5:38. Marc Hopkinson answered with a three, and Andrew Thomas followed with a dunk that tied the game at 33. A second-chance Thomas basket tied the game at 37, and D?Marco Smith scored the rest of Tabor?s first-half points for a 45-42 Bluejay advantage at the break.

After playing to a 47-47 tie, Tabor enjoyed a 7-0 run and maintained the lead until Friends scored 12 straight points to lead, 62-56, at 14:01. Tabor battled back into it when Dewayne Biggs made a three-point play and Carter followed with two baskets for a one-point Bluejay lead, 66-65. The teams traded scores, but Tabor gained distance when Sauer made a three, Biggs added two free throws, and Hopkinson followed with a three for a 79-72 advantage at 8:15.

The Bluejays led by eight, 86-78, with 6:31 to play, but when Tabor turned the ball over two possessions in a row then missed some shots, Friends scored nine straight points to take the lead 87-86, with 4:05 left in regulation. It was a battle of give and take, and Tabor held a slight lead, 93-91, after Hopkinson drained a three-pointer and Carter chipped in a free throw with less than one minute to play. Friends missed two shots after that, then drew a foul to send Joe Mitchell to the line with 28.5 left. He made both free throws to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Thomas scored first for Tabor, but a burst of nine unanswered points gave the Falcons the lead for good, 102-95. Biggs scored the rest of Tabor?s points, and the closest Tabor got was within three. When the final buzzer sounded, Tabor trailed by eight.

Mitchell scored 40 points to lead all scorers. Carter led Tabor with 22 points. Biggs added 21, Hopkinson 16, Thomas 15 and Smith 13.

COMING?The Tabor women are the No. 3 seed in the KCAC women’s basketball championship tournament and will host No. 6 Sterling in quarterfinal action Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Tabor men are the No. 5 seed in the men’s tournament and will play at No. 4 University of Saint Mary Thursday at 7 p.m.

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