Tabor women advance with 74-68 win over Kansas Wesleyan

Mallory Zuercher scores to give Tabor a 6-5 lead over Kansas Wesleyan. Zuercher scored Tabor?s first six points and finished with nine in Tabor?s 74-68 win.The No. 1 seeded Tabor College women?s basketball team defeated No. 8 Kansas Wesleyan, 74-68, Wednesday in the quarterfinal round of the KCAC tournament.

Mallory Zuercher scored Tabor?s first six points, and when Jurnee Reid made a three, Tabor led, 9-5.

The Bluejays increased that margin to eight, 18-10, when Sam Short scored at the 2:01 mark, then the teams traded three treys in the final 1:14. Tabor?s came from Taylor Deniston with 45 seconds left in the period. The Bluejays led, 21-16, at the end of the first quarter.

Reid and Tena Loewen scored in succession to open the second quarter, and Short later scored six points in a 1:10 stretch. Nicole Decker added a basket to put Tabor up by 12, 33-21. The Coyotes trimmed the lead with a 6-0 run, and Tabor led, 39-30, at halftime.

Kansas Wesleyan outscored the Bluejays, 21-18, in the third quarter. The Coyotes used a 7-2 run to trim their deficit to four, then cut it even further, to 45-42, at the 6:10 mark. Morgan Ediger responded with a pair of three-pointers 40 seconds apart to push Tabor?s lead to nine. The Coyotes ended the period with a three-point play, making it 57-51 at the final break.

Kaleigh Troxell scored Tabor?s first six points of the fourth quarter to help Tabor reclaim a double-digit lead. The Bluejays led, 69-58 with 55 seconds left, but over the next 22 seconds, Kansas Wesleyan outscored Tabor, 6-2, to bring it back to single digits. Tabor made three of six free-throws attempted in the final 31 seconds to claim the six-point win.

Tena Loewen drives inside during the first half against Kansas Wesleyan. Loewen had a double-double performance with 10 points and 11 rebounds in Tabor?s 74-68 win.Troxell led the Bluejays with 12 points. Loewen had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Two Coyotes accounted for 45 of Wesleyan?s 68 points: Jenna Farris led all scorers with 28 points. Karlie Steinle added 17. The Coyotes were without three of their players, two of which were starters, as a result of an internal team matter, according to a statement from the college.

Coming?Tabor will host No. 4 Southwestern in a semifinal matchup Saturday at 2 p.m. No. 2 Friends will host No. 6 Ottawa in the other semifinal game Saturday. The championship will be played at Hartman Arena Monday at 6 p.m.

Quarterfinal scores were as follows: No. 1 Tabor def. No. 8 Kansas Wesleyan, 74-68; No. 4 Southwestern def. No. 5 McPherson, 74-64; No. 6 Ottawa def. No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan, 69-64; No. 2 Friends def. No. 7 Sterling, 74-62.

For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13

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