Tabor opens KCAC play with sweep of Ottawa

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.Jurnee Reid scores to give Tabor a 37-22 lead over Ottawa during the third quarter Thursday.

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. Alan Urrutia makes a two-point basket to bring Tabor within 51-45 during the second half against Ottawa. Urrutia scored 10 of Tabor?s 12 points in overtime to help lead the Bluejays to victory.

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.

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