The Tabor College men's basketball team defeated Haskell Indian Nations Univ. 97-91 Monday night in Hillsboro. The victory marks two firsts for the Bluejays this season: first home game, and first win. The women's team did not fare quite as well, coming out on the short end of a 75-71 final score against Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Brittany Roth led the women's team with 16 points, and three others finished with double-digit point totals: Eboni Sweat and Kirsten Watson each had 14, and Andrea Robinson had 10. The well-rounded effort was simply not enough to overcome a 23-point outing by Eagles forward Samantha Brant.
The men carried a 51-47 lead into halftime—in no small part because they limited their turnover total to three in the first half—and started the second half strong. But 14 seconds after Jared Hett buried a 3-pointer off an Aaron Whitelaw assist, things turned ugly for Tabor at both ends of the floor. Back-to-back turnovers led to back-to-back breakaway layups, and a series of point-blank scores by Solomon Horse-Chief turned Tabor's lead to 64-61 deficit.
The game see-sawed until Mike Rousell knocked down two tough jumpers with a field goal by Damon Dechant in between. Rousell's first in the set gave Tabor the lead for good, and his second—a step-back 3-pointer—ramped it to 76-70 with 9:15 to go. The Bluejays did not let up coming out of a time out, and ramped their lead to nine on a triple by Kyle Kroeker with 3:51 left.
A three by Horse-Chief cut Tabor's lead to 93-89 with 1:20 to go, but Haskell came no closer.
Vanselow led all scorers with 25 points. Whitelaw had 16, Hett had 12 and Orson Thomas had 10.
Up next, the men's team hosts Peru State at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The men play the rest of their November slate on the road, and return home to host Southwestern Dec. 6. The women's team hosts University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma at 6 p.m. Nov. 18.