TC women drop first conference game, men win at Friends

The Tabor College basketball teams competed at Friends University Saturday night, where the women fell to the Falcons 58-50 to drop to 7-1 in the KCAC, 11-7 overall. The men, however, defeated Friends 71-67 to improve to 6-2, 7-10.

WOMEN ? Tabor dropped its first conference game Saturday in a contest where the Bluejays shot just 32 percent from the field (17 of 53).

After Tabor fell behind by five to start the game, Janelle Rust accounted for the Bluejays? first seven points to tie the game with 15:27 on the clock. The game saw 12 lead changes and nine ties. Jazmyne Smith tied the game at 13 at the 9:52 mark, and Tabor took its first lead, 17-16, at 8:31 courtesy of free-throw shooting by Nikki Lewis. The half concluded with a back-and-forth battle, with Tabor holding a slim 31-28 lead.

Lewis extended Tabor?s advantage to five on a basket to open the second half, but the Falcons surged to tie the game at 35 at the 13:28 mark. Tabor?s final lead (46-45) came with 7:57 remaining in the game when Lewis sank a basket. Despite a Smith basket to tie the game at 50 with 4:30 on the clock, the Falcons surged with an 8-0 run to end the game with their largest lead of the night, outscoring the Bluejays 30-19 in the second half.

Tabor shot just 26 percent from the field in the second half. The Bluejays sank one of 11 shots behind the arc in the half (9 percent) to finish at 18 percent on the night.

Rust led the Bluejay attack with 20 total points.

MEN ? The Bluejays returned to the upward swing with a 71-67 victory over Friends Saturday. In a game with 13 lead changes and 12 ties, it was a tight first half, with neither team pulling ahead by more than four points. Back-to-back shots by Ryan Chippeaux and Nick Sauer gave Tabor an early 4-2 lead at 16:10. The teams traded scores until a Falcon shot behind the arc gave Friends a 9-6 advantage. But Brent Jackson answered with a three-point shot at 14:29 to tie the game. The Bluejays played from behind for the next seven minutes until a basket by Chance LeBlanc gave Tabor a slim 15-14 advantage with 7:05 left before half. Despite baskets by Reggie Butler, Robbie Samuel and Jackson, Tabor trailed 27-23 at halftime after a 6-0 Falcon surge.

Tabor showed improved shooting from the field in the second half (58 percent compared with 36 percent) to finish at 46 percent on the night. Michael Janzen tied the game at 31 at the 16:44 mark with a four-point play. Chippeaux followed with a three-point play to take a 34-33 lead at 16:26. The score remained close until a basket by LeBlanc with 6:27 left in the game ignited a 10-0 Tabor surge for a 58-47 lead with 3:23 remaining.

Friends launched a final rally, but Tabor free throws kept the Bluejays? lead alive. Tabor shot 74 percent from the free-throw line in the second half (14 of 19). The Falcons drew within two, 67-69, with 15 seconds left to play, but a Janzen basket with 8 seconds remaining sealed the four-point Tabor victory.

Chippeaux led the Bluejays with 15 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Jackson with 12 points, Samuel with 11 and Butler with 10.