The tables were turned tonight as the Tabor women’s basketball team overcame a late Bethany college surge for a double-digit win, but the men lost a hard-fought battle in the final minutes of the game. The women won their contest, 61-49, which puts them at 3-12 overall and 1-4 in conference play. Their 68-55 loss puts the men at 6-10 and 2-3 for the season.
Women – The Bluejays took the lead early in the game, drawing away with 11 unanswered points from five different Bluejay players. The Swedes finally snapped the streak with 6:44 remaining in the half to make it 19-10. Bethany put up nine points in the last seven minutes of the half, but Tabor held steady at the line, earning nine points in free throws to keep a solid 30-19 lead going into the break.
Tabor got a strong start off the break thanks to Tynan Honn, who came in with an explosive offensive effort to put up eight points in the first six minutes of the second half. The Bluejays continued to pull away, claiming a 15-point lead at 8:33 off a three-pointer from Whitney Frise. But then the game turned a bit dicey as the Swedes scored seen unanswered points to draw within six.
Bethany was threatening, riding their momentum with just a minute remaining. But Frise pulled the biggest play of the night out of her proverbial hat, draining a three-pointer at 1:05 as the shot clock ran down to give Tabor a 58-49 lead. The Bluejays then sank a couple rounds of free throws to secure their first conference win and snap their seven-game losing streak.
It was truly a team effort for Tabor. Though Hannah Paust led with 11 points and Becky Bryan followed it up with 10 points, the Bluejays had 10 players put points on the board. They were 33 percent shooting from the field, 26 percent from three-point range and 67 percent at the line, but they held Swedes to 24 percent, 18 percent and 58 percent shooting to outscore Bethany. They also out-rebounded the Swedes by 10 and had eight second-chance points to Bethany’s two.
Men – Despite out-scoring Bethany from beyond the arc, 15-3, Tabor just could not put this game away. The culprit is obvious, however. The Bluejays had six second-chance points to the Swedes’ 16 and were out-rebounded, 50-27, in tonight’s match-up.
Tabor’s Lawson Kingsley started off the game with a bang, draining a three in the first seconds of play. Joe Penn and Ryan Chipeaux followed it up with back-to-back baskets to put Tabor ahead, 7-2, at 18:05. Kingsley nailed a three on the shot clock buzzer and made another basket from the field to help the Bluejays hand on to a narrow lead. But then both teams hit a scoring drought, neither putting up points for nearly six minutes of play time until Bethany scored at 9:21. Chippeaux finally scored for Tabor at 7:43 to make it 14-11, Bluejays.
But the Swedes rallied to tie the game twice and pull out a lead as the clock ran down in the first half. Penn made a flying lay-up with just two seconds left, but it was not enough to keep Bethany from going into the break with a 26-22 lead.
The Bluejays rallied to tie the game three times in the second half, but were never able to pull away despite six points from Chippeaux and long three-pointers from Jimenez, Kingsley and Penn. After Penn tied the game, 50-50, at 8:20 the Bluejays rallied to within two, 55-53, with six minutes remaining. But the persistent Swedes drew away for the victory in the last few minutes of the game.
Kingsley put up 17 points for Tabor, including nine from beyond the arc, and Penn had 13 points. Chippeaux registered a strong performance as well, making 12 points and 13 rebounds for the double-double. The Bluejays shot 35 percent for the game from the field and 20 percent from three-point range, but put up a stellar performance at the line, going 8-8.
Coming up – The Tabor men’s and women’s basketball teams are slated to host Bethel College Saturday in a KCAC match-up. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.