The Tabor College basketball teams swept McPherson Thursday for the second time this season. The women won, 67-46, and the men won, 67-56.
Women?Tabor never trailed in its 21-point victory over the Bulldogs.
The teams battled to an 11-11 tie, then Tabor enjoyed a 9-2 run, including seven points from Tonisha Dean, for a 20-13 margin with 2:47 left in the first half. Dean and Kaleigh Troxell chipped in three-pointers, and when Dean scored on a traditional three-point play, Tabor held its first double-digit advantage, 29-19. The half ended with the Bluejays in front, 30-19. Dean accounted for 17 of Tabor?s first-half points. The Bluejays limited McPherson to 25 percent shooting from the field in the first half (8-32), while shooting 34.4 percent themselves (11-32).
The Bulldogs trimmed the lead to 30-24 out of the break, but a Tena Loewen free throw and three-pointer by Dean put Tabor?s lead back at 10. Hurd made a three-pointer at 13:59 to ignite a 16-4 run over the next five minutes. The stretch also included threes by Kayla Wilgers, Mallory Zuercher and Dean, whose trey at the 8:44 mark gave Tabor a 54-33 cushion.
The Bluejays built to their largest lead of the night, 65-36, when Erin Maxwell scored with 3:01 to play, and coach Shawn Reed began clearing his bench. In the end, Tabor won by 21, having limited the Bulldogs? leading scorer Bailey Brown, who averages almost 17 points a game, to just six points in the contest.
Dean led all scorers with 26 points. Hurd added 12.
With the win, Tabor is in a two-way tie for first place in the KCAC with Kansas Wesleyan at 10-3. Friends fell out of the tie for first place with a loss to Ottawa.
Men?Tabor led from start to finish in Thursday?s 11-point win.
The Bluejays burst to a 6-0 lead out of the gate and led by as many as seven in the game?s first 10 minutes. Jonathan Gibson scored to put Tabor in front, 15-8, but a Bulldog three-point play and three-pointer brought McPherson within 15-14 at the 10:29 mark. From there, Tabor enjoyed an 8-0 run, including six points from Andrew Thomas, to lead, 23-14, at 6:26. The Bluejays took that margin into halftime, ahead 29-20.
McPherson closed the gap to 31-29 after the break, but an 8-0 run put Tabor ahead by 10. The Bluejays slowly built their lead, and enjoyed their largest margin of the night, 55-38, when Malik Brooks drained a three at the 7:36 mark. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 10 with a 7-0 run. But the margin only dipped into single digits once after that, 65-56, when McPherson?s TJ Grant made a three with 23 seconds left. Then Tabor nailed down the 11-point win with two free throws.
Lance Carter had a double-double performance, scoring a game-high 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Thomas added 12 points and Dewayne Biggs 10.
The win, paired with a Bethany loss to Southwestern and a Saint Mary loss to Sterling, gave Tabor sole possession at the top of the KCAC at 10-3.
Coming?Tabor will host Bethel Saturday. The women play at 5 p.m., and the men play at 7 p.m.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13