Tabor women’s basketball uspets No. 11 Concordia University 68-55

The Tabor Bluejay women?s basketball team opened its season with a 68-55 upset victory of preseason NAIA Division II No. 11 ranked Concordia University (Neb.) in Hillsboro Thursday night.

With a lot of new faces playing on the perimeter and a lot experience in the post, the Bluejays played an almost perfect first half. All-KCAC returner Tynon Honn scored the first two baskets for Tabor, but spent most of her time on the bench, falling into early foul trouble.

Tabor relied on its guard play to open up a 44-27 halftime lead. At one point in the first half Tabor held a 42-19 lead.

Senior Coffeyville Community College transfer guard Lacie Ward hit 3-of-5 first half threes, heading into the locker room with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

?I think some other people may have been surprised by her play, said coach Shawn Winter. ?Everyone in the locker room knows what she?s capable of doing.?

Mackenzie Dick continued her contribution from last season, scoring 11 first half points on 4-of-5 shooting.

Freshman point guard Jocelyn Cook took care of the basketball and was a spark defensively, committing zero turnovers and swiping away four steals.

The other freshman point guard Amy Jo Mophet was also a spark offensively, scoring seven first half points.

“Those two freshman guards Amy Jo Mophet and Jocelyn Cook, I don?t think anyone knows too much about them,? said coach Shawn Winter. ?I?ve been so impressed with those two, just their level of maturity. It?s more like having two juniors or seniors out there than freshman.?

Concordia made a run in the second half, cutting the Tabor lead to 54-46 at the 8:20 mark on a three-pointer by Amber Kistler.

?We talked about that at half-time,? said Winter. ?We played a good half and shots were falling. I just really challenged them at half-time to not let that affect the way they think about the second half.

Winter warned about the potential second half Concordia run telling the young Bluejays, “Concordia?s not ranked No. 11 in the country for nothing. They?re a good basketball team, they have good players and they?re going to make a run. Just expect that and you just have to withstand that.?

Tabor responded, pushing its lead back to double-digits on a 19-foot jump shot by Dick with 6:19 to play in the game. Stretching the lead to 66-48 at the 1:56 mark, The Bluejays held another late Concordia 7-2 run for the win.

Tabor (1-0) travels to York College in York, Neb. Tuesday.

For a replay of the Bluejays? opening game upset of No. 11 Concordia, go to https://www.hillsborofreepress.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18093705:tabor-womens-basketball-68-no-11-concordia-university-55-recorded&catid=103:sports-videos&Itemid=100089

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