The Tabor College basketball teams split a pair of games at the University of Saint Mary Saturday. The women won, 58-51, but the men lost, 95-90.
Women?Tabor turned a one-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead by the time the final buzzer sounded Saturday.
After the Spires opened the contest with a three-pointer, Kaleigh Troxell fired back with a three. That was the start of an 11-0 Bluejay run that put Tabor in front by eight when Taylor Hurd scored at 13:12. With Tabor leading, 15-7, the Spires used a 14-2 run to take a 21-17 lead at the 4:13 mark. The Spires led by as many as 25-20, and Kayla Wilgers closed the first half with three free throws to cut the Spires? lead to 27-26 at halftime.
The Bluejays outscored Saint Mary 10-4 after the break, with scoring contributions from Mallory Zuercher, Tonisha Dean, Tena Loewen and Erin Maxwell.
The teams battled to a 41-41 tie, then Zuercher and Loewen combined for 11 points to give Tabor a 52-45 edge with 4:11 to play. The closest the Spires got after that was within 52-49, but Tabor maintained the lead and won by seven.
The Bluejays outrebounded the Spires, 46-26, but committed 19 turnovers to Saint Mary?s 15. Tabor shot 37.7 percent from the field (20-53), while the Spires shot 43.5 percent (20-46). Dean and Zuercher shared top scoring honors for Tabor with 15 points apiece.
Men?Tabor led by as many as 10 points in Saturday?s five-point loss to the Spires.
Both teams shot the ball well for the game, with Tabor connecting on 34-64 attempts (53.1 percent) and the Spires making 33-62 attempts (53.2 percent).
The game remained within three points for nearly the first 10 minutes before Jaylon Sims, John Jedneak and Dewayne Biggs scored in succession to give Tabor a 28-21 cushion at the 9:08 mark. The Bluejays increased their margin to 10, 36-26, after Kyle Baker drained a three with 6:57 left in the half.
A 7-0 run by the Spires cut Tabor?s lead to three, 36-33, and the teams traded baskets to end the half with the Bluejays in front, 40-35.
Both teams continued to experience success on offense, and Tabor increased its lead to 53-46 when Jake Arck scored on a traditional three-point play with 15:22 left in the game. The Spires outscored Tabor 13-6 over the next three minutes to tie the game at 59 at the 12:32 mark, and Saint Mary took its first lead of the half two minutes later. The teams traded scores, and locked heads at 65 after Lance Carter scored at 9:48. The Spires outscored Tabor 20-5 after that, though, to enjoy their largest lead of the game, 85-70, with 5:11 to play.
Malik Brooks and Jedneak scored the next seven points to cut the margin to eight, and after Carter and Brooks each made a pair of free throws, Tabor was back to within 86-81 with 2:10 to go. Carter made a traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 90-86 with 49.7 seconds left, but Tabor missed a shot on its next possession, allowing the Spires to boost their lead to 94-86 with 31 seconds to play.
Carter scored, then Tabor forced a turnover, after which Brooks made two free throws to cut the margin to 94-90 with just 15.2 left. But the Bluejays? comeback effort fell short, as the Spires scored the final point from the charity stripe and Tabor?s final shot missed its mark.
Carter led Tabor with 22 points. Brooks added 18, Jedneak 17 and JT Nemit 11. In the second half, Tabor shot 60.7 percent from the field (17-28), while the Spires shot 64.3 percent (18-28).
Coming?Tabor will host McPherson Thursday. The women will play at 6 p.m., and the men will play at 8 p.m.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13