Tabor sweeps Bethel College

The Tabor women scored 43 points in the second half of tonight’s road game against Bethel College to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit and pull off the last-minute win, 57-52.

The men had their own work cut out for them, roaring to an early lead but then being plagued by fouls that kept the Threshers in the game until the final six minutes of play. But the Bluejays held on and the balance tipped in their favor, propelling them to a 86-67 win over Bethel.

The women picked up their second win in a row to improve to 5-20 overall and 3-12 in the conference. The men continued their four-game win streak to now stand at 13-13 overall and 9-6 in the conference. 

MEN – The Jays seared a trail out of the gate with an 11-3 scoring burst in the first 3:30 of play time, closing out with a dunk from Ryan Chippeaux and a bucket from Gavin Serene. 

Bethel managed just four points before Lawson Kingsley, who was nearly unstoppable all night, scoring 22 points, scorched the Threshers with seven points in 45 seconds to give Tabor a 20-9 lead with 9:58 left on the clock. 

The Bluejays slowly extended their lead to as much as 15 points when Cody Arnold hit a three-pointer at 4:18. But in an odd twist of fate involving a flurry of fouls in the last 57 seconds, and a bucket for Bethel with two seconds on the clock, the Threshers narrowed Tabor’s advantage to 39-29 at the break. 

Tabor began the second half well with buckets from three-point range from Kyle Wallace and Kingsley, but the rash of fouls followed the Bluejays. At 11:16 Bethel broke Tabor’s double-digit lead, 46-55, helped out by eight fouls on Tabor, in contrast to just three for the Threshers. 

But Tabor continued to pound away at the basket, getting three-pointers from Wallace and Arnold to regain a 12-point lead at 9:53. Bethel scored back-to-back threes of their own to draw within seven points with eight minutes remaining, and with the game slipping away from the Jays a traveling call cost Arnold what would have been his third three-point bucket of the night. 

Wallace wasn’t about to let a Bluejay victory go so easily, though. He scored a basket inside and made the following free throw for the three-point play that gave Tabor back a 66-56 lead with 7:11 remaining. Michael Janzen tipped the scales in the Bluejays’ favor, going 5-6 from the line in the next 2:30 of play before fouling out. 

Mostly free of foul trouble and solidly on top by at least 10 points, Tabor gathered steam down the stretch and closed out the game with a bang as Joe Penn lofted a three-pointer and Chippeaux slammed home his second dunk for the final points of the night. 

In addition to Kingsley’s 22 points, Wallace scored 21 points, Chippeaux had 14 points and Penn put up 11 points. Despite their foul trouble, the Bluejays shot 63 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc in the second half, rounding out to 55 percent and 36 percent for the game. They were also were 26-33 from the line for a 78 percent average. 

WOMEN – Though Tabor wasn’t lacking in energy the first half, the Bluejays struggled to get shots to fall. They made just four of 28 attempts from the field and went 2-13 from the perimeter. 

Katlyn Mary drained a three-pointer at 15:57, her first of three beyond the arc on her way to 23 points, allowing the Threshers a 6-5 advantage. But Bethel pounded away for an eight-point scoring drive before Becky Bryan scored at 11:57 to make it 14-7. Bethel out-scored the Bluejays, 13-2, in the next 7:30 of play time to take a 27-9 lead. Mary sank another three with 4:10 left on the clock, but the Threshers were still on top, 30-14, at halftime.

The Bluejays came out fighting tooth-and-nail in the second half, clawing their way out of the hole to out-score Bethel 43-22 in the final 20 minutes of play. 

Mary kicked off the action with a basket 15 seconds in and a three-pointer at 18:58 to make it 30-19. With just over 16 minutes remaining Tynan Honn scored back-to-back baskets to break the double-digit lead Bethel had held for the previous 13:30 of play. The Bluejays kept working until finally Mary sank a free throw to complete the three-point play and tie the game up for the first time with 9:50 left.

The game would be tied three more times and see the lead change hands three times as the clock wound down. 

Whitney Frise scored at the line to give Tabor their first lead of the game at 5:50, 45-44. Bethel earned the advantage twice before Honn scored off a pass from Mary to give Tabor the lead they would cling to for the final two minutes of the game, pulling out the five-point victory.

In addition to Mary’s 23 points, Hannah Paust and Honn scored 11 and 10 points. 

COMING UP – The Bluejays are scheduled to travel to Friends University Saturday, with tip-off at 5 p.m. for the women and 7 p.m. for the men. 

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