Tabor men defeat McPherson in KCAC quarterfinals

Andrew Thomas scores to tie the game at 11 during the first half against McPherson. Thomas led all scorers with 30 points in Tabor?s 92-64 quarterfinal victory. The top-seeded Tabor College men?s basketball team earned a dominating, 92-64 victory over visiting No. 8 McPherson Wednesday in the KCAC tournament quarterfinals.

The Bluejays shot a blistering 62.5 percent from the field in the game (35-56), including 55.6 percent from three (10-18), while limiting McPherson to 32.9 percent shooting (23-70), including 16.7 percent from three (3-18).

When the Tabor bench was called for a technical foul before the game began, McPherson put the first two points on the board from the charity stripe before any time left the clock.

JT Nemit responded with a three-pointer, but the Bulldogs reclaimed the lead with a pair of baskets. Andrew Thomas threw down a one-handed slam?the first of four first-half dunks by the 6-foot, 7-inch senior forward?bringing Tabor within 6-5, but McPherson built to its largest lead of the night, 11-7, at the 16:17 mark.

After John Jedneak scored, Thomas followed with a tying basket, scoring eight of the Bluejays? next 11 points, including another one-handed dunk that put Tabor in front, 20-16, at the 11:11 mark.

Tabor increased its lead to 28-19, then McPherson used an 8-1 run to close the gap to 29-27 with 3:58 left in the half. Thomas fired back with another dunk, then made his fourth dunk of the half just more than a minute later, giving Tabor a 35-29 lead. The first half ended with the Bluejays in front, 37-31.

The hot Bluejay shooting continued in the second half, as Tabor opened with a 13-2 run. Thomas picked up where he left off, scoring Tabor?s first five points. Malik Brooks and Nemit hit back-to-back threes, and Jedneak followed with a two-pointer to boost Tabor?s lead to 50-33 with 15:30 to play. The Bluejays built it to 55-35 after a Jedneak trey, but McPherson came roaring back with a 16-4 burst, including 12 points from Louis Parker III, closing the gap to 59-51 at the 10:48 mark.

Thomas contributed a traditional three-point play, and Tabor maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Dewayne Biggs scored 12 of Tabor?s next 16 points, including two of his four threes in the game, giving Tabor a 78-60 advantage with 5:11 to play. Biggs polished an 8-0 run with a dunk that put the Bluejays in front, 86-62, with 2:43 to go, and coach Micah Ratzlaff cleared his bench. Jordan Horstick and Nick Rice put the icing on the cake with back-to-back threes to end the game, putting Tabor in front by 28 when the final buzzer sounded.

Thomas led all scorers with 30 points. Biggs added 23 and Jedneak 15. Lance Carter had 12 assists.

Additional quarterfinal scores from Wednesday are as follows.

No. 4 Friends defeated No. 5 Southwestern, 64-53.

No. 6 Sterling defeated No. 3 Bethany in overtime, 87-82.

No. 2 Saint Mary defeated No. 7 Ottawa, 85-83.

Coming?Tabor will host No. 4 Friends Saturday at 2 p.m. Sterling will travel to Saint Mary for the second semifinal game.

For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13

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