Bluejay men cruise to KCAC title

DeShun Patterson eyes the basket during the second half against Oklahoma Wesleyan Saturday. Patterson scored six points in Tabor’s 94-67 win.
DeShun Patterson eyes the basket during the second half against Oklahoma Wesleyan Saturday. Patterson scored six points in Tabor’s 94-67 win.
The Tabor College men’s basketball team cruised to a pair of victories last week to end the regular season atop the KCAC standings for the third-consecutive year.

The Bluejays defeated their two opponents by 20 points or more, tallying a KCAC-best 19-3 record, 22-8 overall.

Oklahoma Wesleyan—Tabor rolled to a 94-67 victory over the Eagles Saturday on senior night.

The Bluejays held the visiting Eagles to 27 first-half points while scoring 46 points themselves on 51-percent shooting from the floor (19-for-37).

Julian Winton and Lance Carter combined to score 24 of Tabor’s first-half points. Carter scored the first five points of the game to contribute to a 7-0 Bluejay run. When Oklahoma Wesleyan went 3:47 without scoring, Tabor used an 11-0 run to build its lead to double figures, 23-9.

The Bluejays led by as many as 20 in the first half. Davaghndre Jones made the half’s final basket to bring the score to 46-27 at intermission.

Tabor built to its largest lead six minutes into the second half when Cody May scored, 65-36. An 8-0 Oklahoma Wesleyan run brought the Eagles within 21, but that was as close as the visitors came, and coach Micah Ratzlaff cleared his bench en route to the 27-point win.

“We were pretty focused, and I thought we defended really well,” Ratzlaff said. “I thought our ball movement was really good. I thought we played really well together. We’re playing good basketball at the right time.”

Three Bluejays scored 17 points to lead the team: Davaghndre Jones, Carter and Winton. May scored 12 points. Carter was named KCAC Offensive Player of the Week.

Kansas Wesleyan—Tabor led by as many as 38 points in its 88-68 victory over the Coyotes Thursday.

The Bluejays limited Kansas Wesleyan to 29 first-half points while scoring 51 of their own with 45-percent accuracy from the field (18-for-40).

Tabor brought intensity to both ends of the floor, rolling to a 10-2 lead early on, and the Bluejays enjoyed their first double-digit lead, 18-7, when Julian Winton made a three-pointer.

The Bluejays gained distance late in the first half, scoring 24 points in the final 5:57. With Tabor leading, 27-22, Winton scored the game’s next seven points to light the fire. Tabor later enjoyed a 13-0 run, capped by a dunk by Winton who scored after Tullio Parry recorded a steal. That gave Tabor its largest margin of the half, 51-27. The Coyotes made two free-throws to bring the halftime score to 51-29.

Winton scored 18 of his team-high 20 points in the first half.

Tabor continued its strong play in the second half, making nearly 62 percent of its attempts (16-for-26). Davaghndre Jones paved the way by scoring 10 of his 15 points for the game in the second half.

The Bluejays took their largest lead of the night, 81-43, when Jones scored off a turnover with 7:18 to play, and Tabor cruised to the 20-point win.

“I thought our energy was really, really good,” coach Micah Ratzlaff said. “Defensively, I kind of challenged the guys—they run four guards—just contest every shot, don’t give them any second chances.”

Three Bluejays joined Winton and Jones in double figures: Lance Carter scored 18 points, and Tullio Parry and Cody May each scored 11.

Coming—As regular-season champions, Tabor will host eighth-seeded Okla­homa Wesleyan tonight at 7 p.m. With a win, Tabor would host the winner of No. 4 Southwestern and No. 5 Friends Saturday in the semifinals. The other half of the bracket features No. 3 Saint Mary hosting No. 6 Ottawa and No. 2 York hosting No. 7 Bethany. The championship will be played Monday at 6 p.m. at Hartman Arena.