Tabor women lose to top-ranked St. Francis, 69-53

In its second game of the NAIA Division II national championship, the Tabor College women’s basketball team succumbed to first-seeded and overall top-ranked St. Francis Friday, 69-53.

St. Francis came into the game with just one loss on the season—an 88-64 defeat to Saint Xavier in late February—having rattled off 31 straight wins prior to that.

Tabor started the game well enough, scoring 12 of its first 15 points in the paint to build a 15-10 lead at the 3:59 mark on 7-for-11 shooting. But after that, Tabor went cold, making just one of 19 attempts the duration of the first half.

Meanwhile, the Fighting Saints took advantage, scoring the final four points of the first quarter to trim Tabor’s lead to 15-14 at the first break. In the second quarter, St. Francis continued what it started, scoring 10 unanswered points before Amber Bonham broke an 11:41 Bluejay scoring drought with a two-pointer with 2:18 left in the half. Those were Tabor’s only points of the second quarter, though, and by halftime, St. Francis had built a 28-17 lead. The Bluejays cooled to 27 percent shooting from the field by halftime (8-for-30). St. Francis, meanwhile, made 39 percent of its attempts (11-for-28).

The game’s leading scorer, Kamari Jordan, exceeded her per-game scoring average of 12.3 points by halftime, scoring 14 of her team’s 28 first-half points.

Tabor increased its scoring production in the third quarter, while holding Jordan scoreless in the period. But still, St. Francis built its lead. A 9-2 run grew the Fighting Saints’ lead to 18, 37-19, but Tabor ended the quarter by outscoring St. Francis, 12-9, making it 46-31 heading into the final period.

The Bluejays did not cut any further into St. Francis’ lead, however, and St. Francis led by as many as 23 in its 16-point win.

For the game, Tabor made 37 percent of its field goal attempts (22-for-60). St. Francis made 41 percent (24-for-59). Jordan led all scorers with 19 points. Tena Loewen led Tabor’s effort with 11 points. Bonham scored 10.

Tabor concludes the season with an overall record of 27-7.