The Bluejays swept their games on the road at Ottawa Saturday night, with each team winning by two. The women defeated the Braves 57-55 and improved to 13-1 in the KCAC, 17-7 overall, while the men recorded a 77-75 overtime win and improved to 10-4, 11-12.
WOMEN – The Bluejays persevered for the two-point win Saturday, despite losing Janelle Rust to injury just over 8 minutes into the game. The contest opened with a basket by Rust at the 18:15 mark, but the Braves answered one minute later to tie the game, 2-2. Nikki Lewis and Hannah Paust contributed Tabor’s next five points, and the Bluejays later surged 6-0 for a 13-6 lead at 12:05 when Lewis scored off a steal.
Lewis then snatched another steal and passed the ball to Rust, who went up for a shot but suffered an injury on the play that kept her sidelined the duration of the game. Paust and Loren Oliver scored back-to-back baskets for a 17-8 lead at 9:25, Tabor’s largest of the night, but the Braves surged 5-0 to narrow the gap to 17-13 at 8:02 and later burst to tie the game at 18 with 6:22 left in the opening half. The Braves took a narrow 20-18 lead 30 seconds later, but Tabor evened the score at 20 courtesy of two Jazmyne Smith free throws at 5:16. The score remained tight. Oliver and Lewis scored from the charity stripe, and Lewis added a basket with 54 seconds left for a 29-25 Tabor lead. The Bluejays maintained a 29-26 margin at the half.
Tynan Honn scored first after break to widen the Tabor lead to five, 31-26, but the Braves again surged to tie the game at 33 at the 16:22 mark. The teams locked heads at 35 and again at 37 until a three-point Brave basket gave Ottawa a 40-39 lead at 12:15. The Braves burst to their largest lead of the night, 44-39, at the 9:42 mark, but Tabor answered with a 6-0 run to regain a slim, 45-44 lead after Lewis made a basket with 8:15 left to play. The Braves again regained the lead, but Lewis tied the game at 48 with a basket behind the arc and followed with two free throws at 4:54 for a slim, 50-49, Tabor lead. Lewis scored off a steal with 3:50 left in the game for a 52-50 Bluejay lead, but the Braves once again tied the game on a basket eight seconds later. The lead switched hands, and Ottawa held a 55-54 advantage after a basket in the paint at 2:16. Ottawa had opportunity to score from the charity stripe with 19 seconds remaining, but could not capitalize. Lewis brought the ball down court and drew a foul to go to the free-throw line, where she sank both baskets for a 56-55 Tabor lead with 7 seconds left to play. A Brave shot missed its target, and a foul sent Smith to the line with 0.1 on the clock. Smith made one of two, and Tabor held on for the two-point victory.
Lewis led all scorers with 23 total points.
MEN – After blowing a 13-point lead with under six minutes left to play in Saturday’s contest at Ottawa, the Bluejays outscored the Braves in overtime to win by two, 77-75. The game began with five points from Nick Sauer for a 5-0 Tabor lead; however, the Braves rallied to draw within 5-4 at the 17:45 mark and surged to an 8-7 lead with 14:09 on the clock. The teams evened the score at 8 and 10, and Marc Hopkinson hit a jumper at 10:27 for a 12-10 Tabor margin. The Bluejays maintained their lead until three Brave baskets from behind the arc in less than two minutes contributed to a 28-24 Ottawa lead with three minutes left before half. Hopkinson answered with a three-point basket at 2:23 to draw within 28-27, but Ottawa scored the half’s final points for a 29-27 Brave advantage at the break.
Sauer opened the second half with a basket that tied the game at 29 at 19:19, but Tabor turnovers contributed to four straight points for the Braves. Robbie Samuel answered with a basket at 17:29, and Ryan Chippeaux tied the game at 33 with 16:59 left to play. Chippeaux later tied the game at 35, and a consecutive basket by Cameron Rust put the Bluejays ahead by two, only to have the Braves even the score at 37 half a minute later. Chance LeBlanc hit two baskets behind the arc in a minute’s time, and Tabor built a 47-41 lead at 12:22 after two scores by Samuel. Tabor enjoyed a double-digit, 57-47 lead after a three-point basket by JT Nemit and surged to its largest lead of the night, 60-47, on a following Hopkinson basket behind the arc. But three-point shooting kept the Braves in the hunt, with baskets behind the arc contributing to an 8-0 Brave surge to narrow the gap to 60-55 with 3:50 left to play. Samuel scored Tabor’s next four points for a 64-57 Tabor lead at 2:46, but a three-point basket by the Braves with 53 seconds left narrowed Tabor’s lead to 64-62. The Braves later missed a three-point shot but tied the game at 64 with 3 seconds left on the clock to send the game into overtime.
Ottawa built a 68-64 lead in the opening minute of overtime. Sauer sank a three-pointer at 3:22 to bring Tabor within one, 68-67, but Ottawa answered with a basket behind the arc for a 71-67 lead. It was Sauer who again stepped up and drained a basket behind the arc to narrow the Ottawa lead to one, 71-70, at the 2:20 mark. Following a Brave turnover, Rust hit a three-point shot for a 73-71 Tabor lead with 1:36 left to play. Ottawa drew within one on a free throw with 29 seconds left. Rust increased Tabor’s lead to three, 75-72, from the charity stripe 10 seconds later, but the Braves drained a three-point basket to tie the game at 75 with 10 seconds left on the clock. When it appeared the game was headed for double overtime, Nemit drove the length of the court and scored with 3 seconds remaining to boost Tabor to a 77-75 lead, and the Bluejays held on for the two-point victory.
Samuel led the Tabor attack with 15 total points, followed by Sauer and Nemit with 13 points each.