The Tabor College women's basketball team picked up a 56-43 win in
its conference opener behind 15 points from senior guard Kirsten Watson
Thursday night at McPherson. The men's team was outgunned during the
second half of a physical contest against the Bulldogs, falling 79-70
while the teams combined to be called for 43 fouls. The choppiness of
the game barely hindered Kyle Kroeker, who threw in a career high 24
points on 8-for-12 shooting.
But McPherson put three players in
double-digits and looked to have the game well in hand, 68-52, with
6:51 remaining. The Bluejays closed the gap in a hurry, closing within
seven, 68-61, with 4:32 to go on a pair of foul shots and a 3-pointer
by Mike Rousell. McPherson answered immediately with a 3-pointer by
Marlon Dominique, but Damon Dechant posted up for a traditional 3-point
play assisted by Kroeker with 2:13 to go. Kroeker then knocked down a
trey from the right wing corner with 1:11 left to make it 72-68. It was
his fifth triple of the night, and he came within a fraction of burying
his sixth with 41 seconds left. The Bulldogs pushed their lead back to
nine at the foul line.
Zach Vanselow scored 13 and was the only
Bluejay besides Kroeker in double figures, as foul trouble limited the
minutes of starters Orson Thomas (7:14 first half, 15:10 game) and
Aaron Whitelaw (4:59 first half, 20:16 game).
In the women's
game, Tabor began with an 8-0 run and stoked the lead to 14, 32-18, at
the conclusion of the first half. Watson had 12 points at the break.
McPherson was unable to solve the Bluejays in the second half, as Tabor
rattled off a 13-2 run behind freshmen Sarah Wyckoff and Gina Hullet,
who scored back-to-back 3-point plays set up by Chelsea Malone, who
buried a 3-pointer assisted by Wyckoff for a 45-23 lead with 11:44
remaining in the game.
Andrea Robinson pushed the lead to 25 with
9:39 left, but the Bluejay shooters went cold and the Bulldogs finished
the game with an 18-6 stretch. Robinson finished with 9 points and 8
rebounds. Jordan Crosson led Tabor with 9 boards and 2 blocked shots.
As a group, the Bluejay rebounders dominated the glass 48-39, and the Tabor defense limited McPherson to 27 percent on field goals—and to just 8-for-33 shooting in the first half.