The Tabor College basketball teams split a pair of conference games with Friends Thursday.
Women—Turnovers proved costly for the Tabor women, who suffered their first conference loss by a 78-74 margin Thursday.
When the Bluejays maintained possession, they shot the ball well, making 54 percent of their attempts from the field (27-for-50). Friends, meanwhile, shot around 47 percent from the field (29-for-62). However, the Bluejays committed 31 turnovers in the game, which led to 37 points for the Falcons.
Tabor started the game on fire, offensively, rattling off a string of nine points to stake a 9-2 lead. Taylor Deniston made the first of her three three-pointers during that stretch, and she made her second one a minute and a half later. Deniston drained her third trey at the 4:54 mark, then Tristen Leiszler joined in with a pair of threes of her own. By the time Amber Bonham made a two-pointer, Tabor held a 25-8 lead, its largest of the night. Friends scored with 30 seconds left in the period for a 25-10 score at the first break.
But the Falcons would not go away, outscoring Tabor 25-18 in the second quarter to close the gap to single digits by halftime, 43-35. Friends scored 12 of its second-quarter points off eight Bluejay turnovers.
Turnovers continued to plague Tabor in the third quarter. The Bluejays committed nine of them, which translated into 11 Falcon points. In the final 1:50, Tabor turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions. Friends scored the final eight points of the period, closing the gap to 58-56 by the end of it.
Friends took its first lead since 2-0 with 4:38 left in the game, 71-70. Deniston made a two-pointer to put Tabor back in front, but from there Friends outscored the Bluejays, 7-2, to claim the win.
The game’s high scorer, Shann Sellers, scored 16 of her 37 points off Bluejay turnovers. She recorded eight steals.
Meanwhile, Deniston led Tabor’s scoring effort with 21 points. Kaleigh Troxell added 13.
Men—Tabor overcame a sluggish first half performance to defeat Friends, 77-68 Thursday. The Bluejays made 38 percent of their shots in the first half (13-for-34). Friends, meanwhile, shot 46 percent (13-for-28), and coach Micah Ratzlaff said his team was fortunate to trail only by six at halftime, 36-30. Things improved in the second half, with Tabor making 58 percent of its shots (18-for-31).
To start the game, Friends used a 12-0 run to take a double-digit, 17-7, lead. Tabor scored just 10 points in the game’s first 12 minutes. Trailing 30-18 with 5:08 left in the half, the Bluejays began to gain speed, outscoring Friends 12-6 to end the half. Davaghndre Jones scored four points during that stretch to pave the way. By the time Jones scored with 12 seconds left, Tabor was within 36-30.
Kyle Baker provided a spark off the bench early in the second half when he sandwiched a pair of two-pointers with a three-point basket to tie the game at 44. The lead changed hands a few times, and when Baker made his third three of the night, the game was tied at 53. Tullio Parry drained a three, then Julian Winton made two in a minute’s time to contribute to a 62-57 Bluejay lead. After Friends tied the game at 62, Tabor scored 10 consecutive points. When Winton made his fourth three of the night, Tabor’s lead was in double figures, 72-62, and the Bluejays went on to win by nine.
Winton led the Bluejays with 19 points. Lance Carter scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out seven assists. Jones scored 15 points, and Baker 13.
Coming—Tabor will travel to the University of Saint Mary Saturday. The women will play at 5 p.m. The men will play at 7 p.m.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13