The Tabor College men fell to 9-7, 16-11 after winning one and losing two over the past week.
Sterling?In a rescheduled game, Tabor let a nine-point first-half lead slip into an 11-point second-half deficit Monday and the Bluejays lost, 81-74.
The margin remained within four points until Dewayne Biggs, Carter and Cameron Rust scored consecutive buckets for an 18-10 Bluejay advantage at the 12:20 mark.
Tabor took its largest lead of the night, 23-14, when Nick Sauer drained a three. But from there, Sterling scored 13 unanswered points. The Bluejays regained the lead when Robbie Samuel and Sauer drained back-to-back threes, and Tabor kept it for a 35-31 halftime advantage.
Aided by six three-pointers in the first seven minutes, Sterling claimed a 53-42 lead. Biggs, meanwhile, scored 18 of Tabor?s first 25 points out of the break, narrowing the gap to 62-60. After a 7-0 Warrior run, the Bluejays scored seven straight to draw within 69-67 with 3:52 to play. Tabor did not get closer than that.
After the Warriors made two free throws, Biggs scored for a 74-71 margin. Later, down 76-72 with 31.9 left, Tabor?s inbound pass was stolen by the Warriors. Tabor only got one shot to fall after that, and Sterling took the victory.
Biggs led with 24 points. Carter had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Samuel added 11 points.
Southwestern?Tabor dropped a 76-67 decision Saturday in a game the Bluejays never led.
?We came out really flat and just couldn?t catch up,? coach Micah Ratzlaff said. ?We could not match Southwestern?s intensity and just didn?t show up. The players need to come together and get tough and play with an edge every single night.?
The Moundbuilders burst out of the gate with a 10-2 lead. Southwestern extended it to 16-5, and the teams traded scores until a 9-0 Moundbuilder run pushed the margin to 29-11.
Lance Carter answered with a three-point play that ignited an 11-0 Bluejay run to close the gap to single digits. Nick Sauer ended first half scoring with a three-pointer for a 36-27 Moundbuilder advantage.
The Bluejays twice drew within seven points, the second time at 46-39 after Carter made a basket.
South?western then scored six straight points before Marc Hopkinson and Andrew Thomas made back-to-back baskets. South?western led by as many as 14 at 65-51 with 3:48 to play.
The Bluejays cut the lead to 67-59 when Smith followed a Thomas dunk with a basket. Biggs later made a three-pointer to bring Tabor within 70-62 with 57.3 seconds left. But the deficit was too much to overcome.
?I want our team to hold each other accountable on the defensive end of the floor and realize that until this happens, we will not improve as a team,? Ratzlaff said.
Southwestern?s Cameron Clark led all scorers with 26 points. Carter led Tabor with 15. Thomas added 12, Hop?kin?son 11 and Smith 10.
Ottawa?Tabor trailed by as many as nine points in a back-and-forth battle with Ottawa that featured 20 lead changes and eight ties. But in the end, Tabor came away with a one-point win, 90-89.
Contributing to the win was a second-half effort in which Tabor shot 67.9 percent from the field (19-28).
Tabor shot 60 percent from the field in the first half (15-25), but Bluejay turn?overs and lost rebounds kept Ottawa in front, 48-43, at halftime.
?We had nine turnovers at halftime, and (Ottawa) had 15 points off of our turn?overs,? Ratzlaff said. ?They had 15 second-chance points, so that?s 30 out of their 48 points were because of us.
?We?ve got to take care of the basketball, defend and rebound. I know that?s a lot to ask, but we did it in the second half.?
Andrew Thomas scored Tabor?s first six points for an early 6-3 lead. Lance Carter contributed the Bluejays? next eight points, including back-to-back three-pointers, for a 14-9 Tabor advantage.
Later, fueled by Bluejay turnovers, Ottawa scored seven to take a 20-18 lead.
The teams traded baskets until a Brave three-pointer and basket increased Ottawa?s margin to 36-32.
JT Nemit answered with a three-pointer, and David Loewen followed with a basket that put Tabor ahead. But Ottawa built a 46-40 margin with a three-pointer. The Braves led, 48-43, at halftime.
Ottawa took its largest lead of the night, 54-45, less than two minutes into the second half, but Tabor cut it to 58-55 after Dewayne Biggs scored in transition and Cameron Rust chipped in a free throw.
After the Braves made two free throws, Rust scored a two- and three-point basket in succession to tie the game at 60. After D?Marco Smith scored, Tabor led 64-63.
Ottawa built a 76-71 advantage, but Tabor regained momentum when, after a Robbie Samuel free throw, Thomas dunked the ball and Smith scored in transition after a Samuel steal to tie the game at 76 with 6:02 left in the game.
Ottawa scored the next three points, but when the Braves missed their shots, Thomas was there to grab rebounds.
Tabor took an 82-79 lead after Smith scored with 3:27 to go. The game was tied twice more after that, the final time at 84. Then Smith scored again, and Biggs added two free throws for an 88-84 Bluejay lead at 1:22.
Two Brave free throws brought Ottawa within two before Thomas scored with 42.8 seconds left for a 90-86 margin. The Braves drained a three-pointer with 32.1 seconds left to close the gap to one.
After an Ottawa timeout, Thomas? shot missed the mark, and the Braves rebounded and took a timeout with 8.6 seconds left.
?For one last possession, we went back to our zone,? Ratzlaff said. ?I knew they wouldn?t think it would be coming. I knew they were going to try to get to the rim, and we couldn?t guard them off the dribble.
?We had two people on the ball everywhere they went, and they stood there and dribbled almost the entire (clock) out, so that was a big call.?
Ottawa?s shot at the buzzer missed, and Tabor claimed the win.
?As a whole, the second half was awesome,? Ratzlaff said. ?It?s what we wanted, but we?ve got to put 40 minutes together.?
Thomas led with 20 points. Smith added 19, Carter 17 and Biggs 12.
Coming?Tabor will travel to University of Saint Mary (11-5, 17-9) Thursday for an 8 p.m. game before hosting Friends (13-3, 22-5) Saturday at 7 p.m. in the regular-season finale. Friends was receiving votes in the latest Coaches? Top 25 poll.