Both Tabor College basketball entered Wednesday?s games at Friends tied with the Falcons for first place in the KCAC with 8-2 records. The Tabor women lost their battle, 84-77, but the Tabor men won, 70-69.
Women?Tabor trailed from start to finish in Wednesday?s seven-point loss to Friends.
The Bluejays endured a nightmarish first half, making only five of 24 shots from the field (20.8 percent), including 3-of-14 from three (21.4 percent). By the time the first half ended, Tabor had accrued as many turnovers as points: 17.
Friends, meanwhile, scored 20 points off Tabor turnovers in the first half while shooting 55.6 percent from the field (15-27) to enjoy a 35-17 halftime lead.
Tonisha Dean and Taylor Hurd combined for Tabor?s first 10 points of the second half, but the Falcons matched blow-for-blow. Things went from bad to worse as Friends pulled away to lead by 25, 57-32, with 11:34 left in the game. Kaleigh Troxell made a three and Taylor Janzen drained a pair of free throws to bring the score to 57-37 at 10:32. At that point, coach Shawn Reed pulled Janzen, Dean, Hurd, Troxell and Tena Loewen from the game and brought in five subs off his bench?Amber Bonham, Ali Nakvinda, Emily Peterson, Amber Tamez and MacKenzie Suderman?to play defense, before rotating the first group back in. For more than the next three minutes, the two groups rotated in and out in a nearly continuous string of subbing.
The Falcons made only 9-of-18 free throws during that stretch, and by the time Hurd scored at 6:18, Tabor had cut the lead to 70-55. With the Bluejays no longer subbing as before, Tabor cut the lead even further after back-to-back Falcon turnovers. Dean scored and Janzen added a free throw for a 70-58 margin with 4:49 to play.
Friends extended its lead to 80-61 with 1:27 left, but from there, Tabor turned up the heat with a furious rally. Kayla Wilgers lit the fire with a three-pointer, and the Bluejays forced five Falcon turnovers in the final minute. Loewen and Dean each chipped in a basket, and when Troxell drained a three, Tabor had cut the lead to 82-71 with 28 seconds left. Friends turned the ball over on its next three possessions, while Tabor scored on each trip down the floor, drawing within 82-77 when Dean scored with just 9.4 seconds to play. The rally fell short, though, as the Falcons scored the game?s final two points from the charity stripe, and Tabor fell by seven.
Tabor scored 60 points in the second half and shot 48.6 percent from the field (18-37). Dean led with 20 points, followed by Hurd 13, Janzen 11 and Loewen 10.
Men?Tabor?s only two leads of the game came in the first 30 seconds and the final 5 seconds, but that was all it took to defeat the Falcons, 70-69 Wednesday.
Jake Arck opened scoring with a basket, and although the score was tied four times after that, Tabor trailed until the final seconds.
The Bluejays shot 33.3 percent from the field in the first half (10-30), including 0-10 from three. Andrew Thomas tallied 13 of his team-high 21 points in the first half, but Tabor trailed, 33-27, at halftime.
After the break, the Bluejays outscored Friends, 12-6, to tie the game at 39 after Lance Carter drained two three-pointers in less than a minute?s time. Friends took a five-point lead, but Tabor closed the gap to one a few times. With Tabor trailing, 51-50, the Falcons used a 12-4 burst to enjoy a 63-54 lead with 7:10 to play. But Tabor came back to tie it at 66 with 3:50 to go.
After both teams missed a shot, Friends scored two free throws at 2:54, but as a result of two Tabor turnovers and three Falcon misses, neither team scored again until JT Nemit made one of two free-throws with 25 seconds left to bring Tabor within 68-67. Friends added a free throw with 16 seconds to play, making it a two-point game.
Tabor called timeout with 11 seconds left, and Malik Brooks made the game-winning three-pointer with just 5.5 on the clock. The Falcon shot at the buzzer missed its mark, and Tabor snuck out with the one-point win.
Thomas led Tabor with 21 points. Carter added 13 and Jedneak 10.
Coming?Tabor will play at the University of Saint Mary Saturday. The women play at 2 p.m. and the men at 4 p.m.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13