In their first KCAC games of the season, both Tabor College basketball teams earned victories over Ottawa Thursday. The Bluejay women started the evening with a 52-37 win, and the men followed with a thrilling win in overtime, 85-81.
Women?Tabor cruised to a convincing, 15-point victory over the Braves Thursday.
Following a 4-4 tie, Mallory Zuercher made a pair of free throws and Jurnee Reid drained a three-pointer to give Tabor the lead for good. The Bluejays built a 16-11 margin by the end of the first quarter and gained distance with a 9-0 run to start the second period, bookended by two-point baskets by Taylor Hurd. Ottawa added just six points in the second quarter, allowing Tabor to build a 30-17 halftime lead.
Tabor continued to increase its lead, and by the end of the third quarter, held a 43-28 advantage.
The teams battled evenly through the fourth quarter to reach the final, 15-point spread.
Tabor shot around 32 percent from the field (20-62). Hurd led the Bluejays with 11 points.
Men?Tabor trailed by as many as 14 points Thursday before kicking it into high gear to pull off a four-point overtime thriller.
The Bluejays held their largest lead of the night at 16-8 after D?Marco Smith and Lance Carter made back-to-back three-pointers early on. Leading, 20-15, Tabor stalled and did not score a basket over the next three minutes, allowing Ottawa to build a 25-20 lead. The Braves took their first double-digit lead, 35-24, with 4:52 left in the half and led, 40-33, at halftime, thanks to 60 percent shooting from the field (15-25).
The Braves used a 9-2 run to take their largest margin of the night, 49-35, early in the second half. A three-point play by D?Marco Smith cut the Braves? lead to single digits, 51-43, but Ottawa built it back up to 13, 62-49, with 9:37 left in the game.
With Tabor trailing, 65-56, Lance Carter scored to ignite a 12-2 Tabor run. Carter contributed six points to the run, and by the time Alan Urrutia made a three-pointer, Tabor was within 67-66. Tullio Parry made a three to give Tabor its first lead of the half, 70-69, and made a second three-pointer with 1:05 left in regulation to again push the Bluejays in front, 73-71.
Ottawa tied it at 73 and the teams traded turnovers. Tabor got the ball with 30 seconds left but turned it over. A Brave shot at the buzzer missed its mark, sending the game into overtime.
Urrutia came up big down the stretch, scoring 10 of Tabor?s 12 points in overtime, including back-to-back three-pointers that put the Bluejays in front. Urrutia drained a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to seal the game.
Tabor shot just under 39 percent from the field (29-75). Carter led the Bluejays in scoring with 20 points. Smith added 19, Urrutia 15, Malik Brooks 13 and Parry 10.
Ottawa shot 49 percent for the game (32-65).
Coming?Tabor will host Kansas Wesleyan Saturday. The women will play at 5 p.m., and the men will play at 7 p.m.