The Tabor College women's basketball team fell behind University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma 41-21 at halftime and could not climb out of that deep hole in the second half. The Drovers scored 47 second-half points and won 88-58.
Kirsten Watson's 16 points led the Bluejays, and Tabor got 12 off the bench from Gina Hullet, but no other Bluejay had more than eight. USAO, with a roster full of international players, had four players in double-digits. Debora Periera, of Sao Paoulo, Brazil, had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Ivaney Marquez, of Maracay, Venezuela, had 13 points. But it was Charite Lewis, a forward from Cushing, Oklahoma, that led all scorers with 27.
Tabor looked out-of-sync in the first half, but played a more coherent style in spurts during the second half. Tabor opened the second period with an 8-2 run, as 3-pointers by Watson and Chelsea Malone bracketed a pair of Andrea Robinson foul shots. Lewis and Periera combined to score the next six points, but later, a 6-2 run on a combination of scores by Watson, Amanda Payne and Hullet chopped a 23-point deficit down to 19 with 12:32 left in the contest.
The Drovers answered quickly. Marquez set up a 2-pointer for Lewis, and Lamitra Daggs assisted on a 3-pointer by Marquez to snap the run, and USAO led by 24.
Hullet responded with four straight points to make it 61-41. Tabor cut it back down to 19 less than two minutes later, when Hullet hit a 2-pointer and Stephanie Silvas knocked down a 3-pointer; Jordan Crosson assisted on both baskets.
But a layup by Lewis, a 3-pointer by Juliana Leite and a 2-pointer by Daggs ramped the Drovers lead to 28 with 5:34 left. Hullet knocked down two free throws at 4:40, and threw in a layup set up by a pass from Payne to chop it back to 24 at 77-53, but it was all USAO from there.
Up next, Tabor visits Sterling for the Sterling College Classic. The Bluejays will face non-conference opponents St. Gregory and Iowa Wesleyan, with game times set for 2 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday, respectively.