Tabor men advance to quarterfinals with 88-82 win over Robert Morris

Lance Carter
Lance Carter
The Tabor College men’s basketball team advanced to the NAIA Division II national championship quarterfinals for the first time in 20 years with a second-round victory over Robert Morris Friday, 88-82.

Tabor held the Eagles to 10 points below their average for the game.

Neither team shot the ball well at the start, as Robert Morris made one of its first nine attempts and Tabor, one of its first six. Robert Morris tied its biggest lead at 13-11, but from there, DeShun Patterson singlehandedly contributed to an 8-1 run that put Tabor in front, 19-14.

When Kyle Baker hit a triple at the 7:09 mark—Tabor’s fourth of the game—the Bluejays led, 28-20. However, the Eagles embarked on a 17-7 run over the next 4:47, capping it with a game-tying dunk with 2:22 left in the half. But Tabor burst to the finish with a 10-2 run to end the half with a 47-39 lead.

The Bluejays enjoyed their largest advantage of the afternoon, 59-46, after Lance Carter grabbed a rebound and went coast to coast for a score with 12:07 left in the game.

But with Tabor in foul trouble and unable to score, the Eagles embarked on an 11-0 run to close the gap to two, 59-57. Robert Morris later took the lead, 66-65, with 6:55 to play. A 6-0 run fueled by four points from Tullio Parry put Tabor in front for good. The Eagles scored after that to close within three, but that was as close as Robert Morris came, and a 9-3 Tabor run put the Bluejays in front by nine with 1:53 to play. The Eagles closed within four a few times, the final at 82-78 with 1:02 remaining. In the final 49 seconds, Tabor made six of 10 free-throws to nail down the six-point win.

The Bluejays made 47 percent of their attempts from the field (27-for-58). Robert Morris made 38 percent (30-for-80).

Two Bluejays had double-double performances. Carter scored 24 points to go with his 10 rebounds, while Parry scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds. Patterson scored 21 points, and Davaghndre Jones and Julian Winton 10 each.

Tabor advances to play Indiana Wesleyan Saturday at 3 p.m.