Bluejay men crack Top 25 poll

The Tabor College men’s basketball team cracked the NAIA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 poll last week prior to going on the road to Oklahoma Wesleyan Thursday.

In that game, the Bluejays led from start to finish in a convincing, 95-75 win.

Tabor took command from the beginning, firing on all cylinders with a 7-0 start and scoring 15 points in the first five minutes of play. The Bluejays made six of their first eight field goal attempts (75 percent) and shot a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe to stun the home team and claim a 22-7 lead. At that point, the Eagles were shooting 21 percent from the field (3-for-14).

Oklahoma Wesleyan endured a 3:06 stretch without scoring, allowing Tabor to extend its lead further, 25-7, when Davaghndre Jones made a basket at 11:42.

With multiple scoring threats on the floor, Tabor continued to have its way, building a 53-33 lead by halftime. Tabor finished the half with 47 percent shooting (16-for-34), compared with 32 percent for the Eagles (12-for-37). The Bluejays converted 18 of 21 free-throw attempts (86 percent).

Each team added 42 points in the second half. Tabor made 57 percent of its second-half field goal attempts (16-for-28), while Oklahoma Wesleyan made 49 percent (19-for-39). The Eagles limited Tabor’s trips to the charity stripe after halftime; the Bluejays were 8-for-9 (89 percent).

Tabor enjoyed its largest lead less than a minute into the second half when Julian Winton made two free-throws, 55-33, but over the next 5:36, the Eagles outscored Tabor, 18-7 to force a Bluejay timeout, leading 62-51.

Tabor responded by stretching its lead to 18 and was never really threatened, ending the game in front by 20.

Winton led all scorers with 27 points. He made all 10 free-throws he attempted. Lance Carter scored 26 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Jones scored 18 points.

Tabor concludes the first half of the KCAC season atop the conference standings and ranked 23rd nationally.

Coming—Tabor (10-1, 13-6) was scheduled to play at Bethel (4-7, 10-9) Monday in a game postponed from Saturday. The Bluejays will host Sterling (4-7, 7-12) tonight at 8 p.m. and will travel to York (9-2, 13-6) Saturday for a 7 p.m. game.

Lance Carter entered Monday’s game 18 points away from setting a new men’s basketball career scoring record. Jesse Herrman holds Tabor’s current record with 1,593 points. Carter had 1,576 points heading into Monday’s contest.