TC women defeat Southwestern, but TC men come up short

The Tabor College basketball teams hosted Southwes­tern College on Saturday with both teams hungry for a win. The Bluejay women were playing for redemption following a disappointing loss Wednesday to Kansas Wesleyan. The men, meanwhile, needed a win to avenge a loss to the No. 6 ranked Moundbuilders earlier this season if the Blue­jays had a legitimate chance to challenge for the KCAC regular-season title.

By the time the evening ended, the women’s team had achieved its goal with a 78-63 victory, while the men came up short of theirs with an 83-74 loss.

WOMEN—After a bad start in their game on Wednesday, the Bluejays came out strong on Saturday, building a 21-11 lead by the end of the first quarter with four players contributing points.

Tabor increased its lead to 28-11 at the 6:17 mark of the second quarter with a layup by Sammy Jo Peter­son, a layup and bonus free throw by Tristen Leiszler and a pair of free throws by Amber Bonham.

The Builders rallied with back-to-back 3-pointers within a 30-second span to cut the margin to 28-17. For the most of the game, Tabor’s lead more or less ranged from eight to 12 points. By the end of the second quarter, Tabor’s led 39-31.

Tabor barely won the third quarter, 20-19, for a 59-50 score with one last quarter to play. Southwestern whittled Tabor’s lead to seven, 61-54, on a free throw by Makala Canada of South­western with 7:34 left.

Tabor went to work, with Bonham getting hot down the stretch. She first sank a pair of free throws at 6:51, hit a 3-point basket 27 seconds later, and then capped it with another basket deep in the lane. Suddenly Tabor was ahead, 68-56.

The Bluejays exceeded the 10-point lead barrier in the final seven minutes. When Taylor Deniston hit a 2-pointer, Peterson a 3-pointer, and Deniston another 2-point score, Tabor reached its biggest lead of the game at 77-56 with 1:30 to play.

Tabor shot 54 percent for the game (27-51) and 47 percent from behind the arc (8-17). Four Bluejays broke double-digit scoring: Denis­ton 19, Bonham 18, Peterson 16 and Leiszler 11.

Jordyn Miller of South­western led all scorers with 25 points. As a team, the Moundbuilders shot 45 percent (22-49) from the field and 41 percent (7-17) from behind the arc.

The win improves Tabor’s record to 12-6 for the season and keeps them in a tie for second place in the KCAC with Oklahoma Wesleyan at 9-3.

MEN—Tabor absorbed a sucker punch in the form of three 3-point baskets by Southwestern’s Jacob Horsch early in the game and an 11-2 deficit 3 minutes into the contest. But Tabor rallied with a basket by Jon Beristain at the 16:50 mark of the first half to pull back to within 11-8 with 15:34 to go before halftime. Tabor tied the game at 18 at the midway point of the first half. But Southwestern then launched an 18-6 surge for a 36-24 lead with 4 minutes before intermission. By halftime, South­western had regained a 10-point lead at 44-34.

Much like the women’s game, the men’s lead fluctuated between eight and 12 points. With Tabor trailing 72-60 with 1:48 left in the game, the Bluejays implemented their hurry-up, pressure offense with Julian Winton leading the attack.

The Bluejay scoring guard contributed 10 points over a 1:15 span as Tabor cut the lead to 79-74 with 25.2 seconds left. Winton missed a couple of hurried 3-point shots and Southwestern countered with four free-throws in the last 24 seconds to secure the 83-74 final score.

Winton was Tabor’s top scorer with 26 points. Alan Urrutia added 17, DeShun Patterson 16 and Beristain 11. As a team, Tabor shot 41 percent (30-73) from the floor.

Southwestern had a 36-point scorer of their own in Cameron Hunt, who made 11 of 18 shots from the field and four of five free throws. Also in double digits were Horsch with 17 points, including 5-for-6 shooting from behind the arc, and Andrew Hamm with 11.

Tabor remains in a tie with Friends for second-place in the KCAC at 8-4. The Bluejays are 9-9 for the season. Southwester remains on top of the conference at 11-1 and are 18-2 for the season.

COMING—Tabor will host York College on Wed­nesday with the women’s game starting at 6 p.m. and the men’s game at 8 p.m.