Both the Tabor men’s and women’s basketball teams fell in road conference match-ups with Sterling College. The men met with a 76-66 defeat to put them at 8-11 overall and 4-4 in the KCAC, while the women lost, 60-40, putting them at 3-15 overall and 1-6 in conference play. The Bluejays are scheduled to travel to the University of St. Mary Wednesday, with tip-off at 6 p.m. for the women and 8 p.m. for the men.
Men – The Tabor men looked a little shaky out of the gate, letting Sterling go up with six easy points. But Kyle Wallace sank a three at 18:18 and seconds later Joe Penn found Ryan Chippeaux on a long assist for the dunk, giving the Bluejays their first lead. Penn followed it up a minute later with a long jump shot to make it 9-6, Tabor.
But Sterling came back to take the lead at 14:44 with a three-pointer. Not to be outdone, Phillip Jimenez drained two three-point shots within a minute of each other to tie it twice. Sterling then put up eight unanswered points, before Tabor broke free for a 9-4 scoring spurt that brought them within three, 29-26, at 4:47.
The Warriors found their footing in the last minutes of the half to hold a 39-32 lead at the break.
Tabor came out white hot with an 11-3 scoring run in the first six minutes of the second half. Wallace kicked off the run with a basket, Chippeaux scored twice, and Jimenez scored and made the assist to Chippeaux before Wallace sank a three-pointer at 14:48 to bring the Bluejays within two, 45-43, at 14:48. Wallace made a three-point play with the foul shot and then Michael Janzen hit the basket from beyond the arc to give Tabor a 49-47 lead with 12:11 left to play.
The Bluejays kept a narrow lead for three minutes of play time, but Sterling took it back at 9:04 to spark a 9-0 scoring run. Lawson Kingsley finally snapped the drought at 5:49, bringing Tabor within four points, but the Warriors sank a three-pointer on the next play and drew away over the last few minutes of play time for the 10-point win.
Jimenez was an offensive force for Tabor with 18 points, followed up by Chippeaux with 15 and Wallace with 11 points. Sterling beat Tabor on the boards by 10 and posted a 10 percent better shooting average for the game, but the Bluejays did win from beyond the arc, 24-18. The bench was again a huge factor for Tabor, giving them 26 points. But Sterling killed the ‘Jays at the line, 22-8.
Women – The Bluejays began well, but, like in Thursday’s game, they fell apart midway through the first quarter. Tabor put together two baskets from beyond the arc and plenty of points the hard way to take a 13-6 lead with 13:31 left on the clock. But Sterling took a time out and came out on the warpath, roaring back to tie the game at 7:12.
Sterling went on to score a total of 19 unanwered points in the last nine-and-a-half minutes before the break. They led, 19-15, at halftime.
Tabor’s Whitney Frise combined a three-pointer and a field goal at the beginning of the second half to pull the ‘Jays within eight points at 16:30, 29-21. Katlyn Mary and Hannah Paus also hit threes within 30 seconds of each other midway through the second half, and Paust drained her second three-pointer with just two minutes remaining. But Sterling drew away in the second half despite the Bluejays’ efforts, outscoring them, 31-25, for the final 20-point margin of victory.
Paust and Mary were the only Bluejay players in double digits, each putting up 12 points.