Tabor men extend win streak to five; women fall after leading at halftime

The Tabor men took care of business tonight at Friends University, hanging onto a narrow lead for much of the game before drawing away in the final minute to the final 82-69 margin. With the win the Bluejays extend their streak to five games and improve to 14-13 overall and 10-6 in the KCAC. The women got off to a strong start behind three baskets from the perimeter from Katlyn Mary, and led the Falcons at halftime. But they fell apart in the second half, turning over the ball and shooting poorly, to fall, 30-22. They are now 5-21 overall and 3-13 in the conference. 

MEN – Fast-paced and physical just begins to describe the battle that was the first half. Tabor’s Lawson Kingsley started off draining a three-pointer before Hillsboro product Gavin Serene lofted his first of four threes in the half at 18:08 to give Tabor an early lead.

Friends took the lead twice in the next two minutes, topping Tabor, 14-10, at 15:32. 

But the Bluejays rallied for a 13-3 scoring burst that included two perimeter baskets from Kyle Wallace and another from Serene, giving Tabor a 23-17 lead at 10:38. Friends drew within five points, but Serene hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to keep Tabor on top. Max Frise closed out the half for the Bluejays, going 4-4 from the line to help Tabor to a 37-31 lead at the break.

Serene landed his fifth bucket from three-point range to start off the second half, then Ryan Chippeaux took over with seven points in one minute for a 47-33 lead for the Bluejays. Phillip Jimenez and Cody Arnold joined forces from beyond the arc to put up six points and give Tabor its largest lead of the game, 57-41, 14:09. 

Friends broke the Bluejays’ double-digit lead with a three-pointer at 11:11, but Michael Janzen completed the three-point play to give him nine points in 4:20 of play time and Tabor an 11-point lead. With 4:17 remaining in the game Friends narrowed the Bluejays’ lead to six points, but once more Tabor came through as Kingsley was fouled on a perimeter basket to give him a four-point play. 

The Bluejays scored four points on steals in the next 45 seconds, helping them out-score Friends, 22-13, on turnover points for the game, and then closed out the night at the line for the 13-point win.

Serene led Tabor in scoring with 17 points, 15 of those coming from beyond the arc. Kingsley had 13 points, Wallace scored 12 points and Chippeaux contributed 10 points.

WOMEN – Katlyn Mary came out sizzling to start the first quarter, draining three baskets from three-point range in 3:40 of play time. With four points from Tynan Honn Tabor held a quick 13-0 lead at 14:50. 

The Falcons pulled themselves together to slowly chip away at the Bluejay lead as the half wore on. Friends narrowed it to 26-20 with 1:28 remaining, but Paust scored three points and Molly Dick made a freebie to put Tabor on top, 30-22, at the break. 

But the magic that had sustained the Bluejays through back-to-back wins and a strong first half failed Tabor in a second half plagued by turnovers and poor shooting. Friends out-scored Tabor, 43-24, in the final 20 minutes of the game, aided by four baskets from beyond the arc. 

The Falcons kicked off the second half with a 13-3 scoring spurt to take the lead, 35-33, at 14:53. Tabor tied it up three minutes later, but with 10:10 remaining Friends broke free with a three-pointer to spark 15 unanswered points for the Falcons. At the end of the scoring run, Friends held a 56-40 advantage over Tabor. 

The Bluejays managed a few more points from the line and Mary drained her fourth three-pointer as the clock wound down, but Tabor couldn’t find a way to break free of a sticky Friends defense and stop their high-powered offense that scored four three-pointers in the last 10:10 of play time. The Bluejays went 5-20 from the field in the second half and committed 20 turnovers for the game. They were also beat on the boards, 42-33. 

Mary led Tabor in scoring with 26 points. No other player made it into double digits. 

COMING UP – The Bluejays are scheduled to host Sterling College Thursday before welcoming the University of Saint Mary Saturday. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men Thursday and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. 

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