The Tabor College basketball teams swept Bethel Thursday. The women won, 64-58, and the men followed with an 86-80 victory in overtime.
Women?Tabor weathered a late Thresher rally to win by six Thursday.
While Bethel?s only lead came in the first two minutes of the game, and Tabor led by double figures in both halves, Bethel rallied late to close to within five.
The game began with a Bethel basket, then Kayla Wilgers and Kaleigh Troxell fired off back-to-back threes to give Tabor the lead. With the Bluejays in front, 15-13, Taylor Hurd and Tonisha Dean combined for 11 straight points to give Tabor a 26-13 advantage at the 8:16 mark. But the Threshers closed the gap with a 13-7 run in the final eight minutes of the half to bring the score at intermission to 33-26 in favor of Tabor.
The Bluejays rolled out of the locker room with a 7-0 run for a double-digit, 40-26, margin. But after that, Bethel gained momentum with a 10-3 burst that closed the gap to 43-36 with 12:22 to play. Tabor fired back by outscoring the Threshers 10-2 over the next three minutes, taking their largest lead of the night when Wilgers drained a three with 9:15 to play. The Bluejays maintained a comfortable lead, and led, 60-46, with 3:27 to go.
But Bethel turned up the heat in the final minutes. In the next 2:37, Sam Short scored Tabor?s only point from the charity stripe, while Bethel closed the gap to 61-54 with 58 seconds to play. With Tabor shooting a collective 50 percent from the free-throw line in the final 50 seconds, the Threshers cut the deficit even more to trail by five, 63-58, with 31 seconds to play. But Tabor hung on to win by six as Mallory Zuercher concluded scoring with a free throw.
Wilgers led with 15 points. Dean added 12.
Men?Tabor won in thrilling fashion in a back-and-forth battle that ended in overtime Thursday at Bethel.
In the game?s first six minutes, the lead changed hands a few times, as Tabor led by as many as four points and Bethel led by as many as six. Jake Arck and Kyle Baker each made two threes in three-minute?s time to push Tabor in front, 24-21, at the 10:21 mark. Bethel responded with a 12-1 run for its largest lead of the night, 33-25.
After a JT Nemit three and a basket by Jordan Horstick, Horstick stole the ball and scored with an open look at the basket. By the time Nemit and Horstick scored off back-to-back steals, Tabor had regained the lead, 38-35. Bethel worked to regain the advantage by halftime, 42-41.
The teams again swapped the lead. Tabor led by four, 48-44, when Dewayne Biggs scored, but Bethel regained the advantage, 50-48, with a pair of free throws at 14:43.
Tabor led by five, 58-53, when Andrew Thomas scored at 10:56, and maintained the advantage until the Threshers tied the game at 63 with 4:25 to play. Bethel claimed the lead, 67-66, with 3:34 left in the game. By that time, three Bluejays had fouled out.
Malik Brooks responded with a three, but the Threshers again claimed the lead, 71-69 with 1:45 left in regulation. Neither team scored again until Bethel made one of two free throws with 11 seconds left to increase its lead to three. As time expired, Brooks released one final shot. The three-pointer fell in to send the game into overtime.
After the teams traded scores, Brooks drained a three to put Tabor in front for good, 79-76, with 2:07 to play. Nemit made five of six attempts from the charity stripe in the final 1:04, and Tabor enjoyed its largest lead of the night at the end, 86-80.
Brooks led Tabor with 21 points. Nemit added 15.
Coming?Tabor will host Kansas Wesleyan Saturday. The women will play at 5 p.m., and the men will play at 7 p.m.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13