The Tabor College basketball teams kept their perfect KCAC records intact through the first half of conference play with a sweep of Bethel Thursday.
Women?Tabor used a big second-half performance to roll to a 73-46 victory over Bethel.
The teams were tied at 29 apiece at halftime, but Tabor stepped up the defensive pressure in the final two quarters, limiting the Threshers to just 17 points in the second half.
The Bluejays? shooting improved in the second half too, from a chilly 28 percent in the first half (11-39) to 43 percent in the second (16-37).
Tabor took a 13-9 lead to start the game, but Bethel ended the first quarter on a 9-2 run to enjoy an 18-15 advantage at the first break.
Mallory Zuercher fired off a pair of three-pointers in the first two minutes of the second quarter to give Tabor a narrow, 21-20 lead, and the Bluejays led, 25-22 when Taylor Deniston scored at the 4:11 mark. From there, Bethel outscored Tabor 7-1 to regain the lead. Tena Loewen tied the game at 29 with a traditional three-point play with 35 seconds left before halftime.
The Bluejays turned things around in the third quarter, outscoring Bethel, 20-7. Amber Bonham scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the period, which ended with Tabor leading comfortably, 49-36.
Tabor enjoyed its biggest offensive production in the fourth quarter, outscoring Bethel, 24-10. The closest Bethel got after that was within 51-40, and Tabor cruised to its largest lead at the end.
Kayla Wilgers joined Bonham in double figures with 10 points. The win concluded the first half of conference play. Tabor leads the KCAC with a perfect 10-0 record.
Men?Tabor pulled off a thrilling overtime victory over Bethel to keep its perfect KCAC record intact Thursday. The Bluejays trailed by as many as 11 points in their 87-83 win.
The Bluejays took the lead early, 12-7, after John Jedneak drained a three-pointer, but Bethel jumped in front with a 7-0 run. The Threshers increased their lead to 23-18, and later, 31-24, by hitting a pair of three-pointers just 30 seconds apart.
Lance Carter responded with a three to ignite a 10-3 Bluejay run. D?Marco Smith contributed seven points to the effort, including a basket that tied the game at 34 with 1:34 left in the half.
Bethel made its seventh three-pointer of the half with 2 seconds remaining to enjoy a 39-37 halftime lead.
Tabor outscored Bethel 6-2 after intermission, and led, 46-45 after Davaghndre Jones scored at the 15:18 mark. From there, the Threshers went on a 12-0 run that left Tabor trailing, 57-46 with 13:02 to play. Following a Tabor timeout, Tullio Parry drained a three-pointer to ignite a 10-3 Bluejay run that closed the gap to 60-56.
Tabor tied the game at 62, and the teams traded scores. Bethel, however, went on an 8-0 run to lead, 75-70 with 2:23 to play. Tabor trailed 77-73 with 1:04 remaining. Parry scored to close the gap to 77-75. After a Bethel miss, Travell Robinson grabbed the rebound, and Malik Brooks drove inside and made his first and only basket of the night, tying the game to send it into overtime.
Tabor took an 80-77 lead out of the gate, but Bethel claimed it, 81-80. Robinson and Parry each made a basket and Smith made a free-throw to give the Bluejays the lead, 85-81. Bethel closed within 85-83 with 23 seconds left, then Smith made one of two free-throws to increase the margin to three. Bethel missed a two-point attempt, then sent Carter to the free-throw line. He made one of two attempts to seal the four-point win.
Smith led all scorers with 27 points. Carter had a double-double performance with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Jones scored 10 points.
The win concluded the first round of conference play. Tabor leads the KCAC with a 10-0 record.
Coming?Tabor will travel to Ottawa Saturday. The women will play at 3 p.m. The men will play at 5 p.m.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13