Tabor splits first games of Holiday Classic

The Tabor College basketball teams kicked off the New Year Friday by hosting the Holiday Classic.

The Bluejay women earned a 12-point victory over a MidAmerica Nazarene team ranked tied for 10th in the NAIA Division I Top 25 poll, while the Tabor men suffered a 10-point loss to Division I Missouri Valley.Amber Bonham drives inside and scores to ignite a 10-0 Tabor run during the fourth quarter Friday against MidAmerica Nazarene. Bonham scored 12 points in Tabor?s 66-54 win.

Women?Tabor brought in the New Year with a 66-54 victory over MidAmerica Nazarene Friday. The Pioneers rank tied for 10th in NAIA Division I.

Tabor built a 5-0 lead, only to have the Pioneers claim it, 6-5. Tabor increased its advantage to 14-10 before MidAmerica Nazarene drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to draw within 14-13 at the first break.

The Pioneers outscored Tabor, 6-2, in the first four minutes of the second quarter, prompting coach Shawn Reed to call timeout. After that, Morgan Ediger drained a game-tying three-pointer to ignite a 13-2 Bluejay run. Tabor, 29-21, after Mallory Zuercher made a three-pointer.

A Pioneer trey at the buzzer made it 31-25 at halftime.

MNU outscored Tabor, 15-13, in the third quarter, narrowing the gap to 44-40 at the final break.

With Tabor leading, 48-42, Amber Bonham scored two- and three-point baskets in succession as part of a 10-0 Bluejay run. Bonham capped the run with another three-pointer to give Tabor a 16-point cushion, 58-42, with 3:49 to play. The Bluejays went on to win by 12. Kaleigh Troxell shoots for two during the fourth quarter Friday. Troxell led all scorers with 13 points.

Kaleigh Troxell led all scorers with 13 points. Bonham added 12. Tena Loewen had a double-double with 12 rebounds and 10 points.

Men?Tabor suffered an 82-72 defeat to NAIA Division I Missouri Valley Friday. The Bluejays shot just 33 percent from the field in the first half (8-24) and trailed, 43-29, at halftime.

Tabor made just two field goals and three free throws in the first eight minutes of play, allowing Missouri Valley to build a 14-8 lead. With the Bluejays unable to find rhythm offensively, the Vikings took their first double-digit lead, 28-18, with a three-pointer with 6:55 left in the half. Missouri Valley closed the half with a 4-0 run for a 14-point margin at intermission.

The Vikings used a 7-2 run to build their largest lead of the night just more than one minute into the second half, 50-31.

Tabor responded with a 7-0 run of its own when Alan Urrutia, Lance Carter and D?Marco Smith scored in succession. The Bluejays further trimmed the deficit when Kyle Baker and Malik Brooks made a pair of three-pointers in a one-minute span. By the time Baker scored off a turnover, Tabor had cut the Vikings? lead to 56-49 with 12:33 left in the game.

The Bluejays stalled, however, and the Vikings scored nine unanswered points to boost their advantage to 67-51 and reclaim a double-digit lead for good. Malik Brooks shoots for two during the first half against Missouri Valley Friday. Brooks was fouled on the play and made both free throws to put Tabor on the board.

Tabor initiated one final rally in the final 1:22. With Tabor trailing 82-64, the Bluejays scored the final eight points of the game. Brooks contributed six points to the run. Smith scored off a turnover to bring it to the final, 10-point spread.

Brooks led the Bluejays with 17 points. Smith added 14. Lance Carter and Baker each scored 10.

Coming?Tabor will continue play in the Holiday Classic Saturday. The women will host Central Christian at 5 p.m. The men will play York at 7 p.m.

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

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