Bluejay women sweep two games

Morgan Ediger puts up two during the first half against Ottawa Saturday. Ediger led the Bluejay scoring effort with 14 points in Tabor’s 66-41 victory. Janae Rempel / Free Press
Morgan Ediger puts up two during the first half against Ottawa Saturday. Ediger led the Bluejay scoring effort with 14 points in Tabor’s 66-41 victory. Janae Rempel / Free Press
The Tabor College women’s basketball team won two games last week to move to 15-3 in KCAC play, 20-5 overall.

The victories, combined with a Friends loss to Saint Mary, moves Tabor to one and a half games back of the conference-leading Falcons.

Coach Shawn Reed said he was pleased with his team’s improvement in a number of areas, including limiting turnovers.

“We are taking better care of the basketball,” Reed said. “We only had four turnovers versus McPherson—none in the first half—and only nine turnovers versus Ottawa. We have played games this year where we have posted 13 turnovers or more in a half, so to have that as a total for our last two games is significant progress.”

Reed also praised his team for limiting opponents’ second-chance opportunities by cleaning up the defensive glass, as well as improving its defensive rotations.

“The combination of these efforts is giving us more possessions than our opponents,” Reed said. “Versus McPherson we had 13 more possessions, and against Ottawa we had 11 more possessions. 

“We need to continue to improve in these areas and others as we quickly approach the postseason.”

Ottawa—Tabor held the visiting Braves, who are receiving votes nationally, to 27 points below their average in a 66-41 victory Saturday.

The Bluejays led by as many as six in the first quarter, 9-3, before Ottawa used a 6-0 run to tie the game.

Kyli Webber scored the next six points to break the tie, and the Bluejays maintained the lead through the end of the first quarter, which ended with a 20-17 score.

The Braves used a 5-0 run to take the lead with 7:26 left in the half, and the game was tied twice after that, including at 24 after Taylor Deniston made two free-throws.

Then Tabor locked down on defense, forcing the Braves into five turnovers. In the final 3:55, Tabor enjoyed an 11-2 run. Tena Loewen lit the fire with a basket, and Jurnee Reid scored five points in that stretch, including the final three points at the charity stripe to give Tabor a 35-26 lead at halftime.

Tabor continued to build its lead in the third quarter, enjoying its first double-digit advantage when Morgan Ediger scored at the 8:44 mark. The Bluejays doubled Ottawa’s production in the third quarter, outscoring the Braves, 12-6. Ediger paved the way with five points. Loewen scored the final point of the quarter at the 2:42 mark, giving Tabor a 47-32 edge at the final break.

A 19-9 fourth-quarter effort sealed the Bluejay victory. Tabor started the quarter on an 8-0 run and built to its largest lead at the end, 66-41.

Ediger led the team with 14 points. Reid and Loewen each scored 12.

McPherson—Following two losses last week, the Bluejays got back in the win column with a 62-59 victory Thursday.

McPherson built its largest lead within the game’s first four minutes, 8-4, then Taylor Deniston drained back-to-back three-pointers in a 37-second span to put Tabor in front by two. Later trailing by one, the Bluejays ended the quarter on a 7-0 run to regain the lead, 21-15.

Deniston made her third and fourth three-pointers within a minute to help contribute to Tabor’s first double-digit lead, 31-19. The Bluejays held their largest margin of the night, 35-21, but a 10-1 Bulldog push to the finish trimmed Tabor’s lead to 36-31 at halftime.

McPherson outgained Tabor, 28-26 in the second half, including 11-10 in the third quarter. The Bulldogs closed within 42-40 late in the third period, which ended with Tabor in front, 46-42.

Nicole Decker scored four of Tabor’s next six points to increase the Bluejay lead to 52-44, but over the next 3:07, McPher­son went on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 54. The Bulldogs led briefly, 59-58, before Morgan Ediger scored with 13 seconds left to put Tabor back in front. Following a Bulldog miss, Deniston nailed a pair of free-throws for the final, three-point spread. Tena Loewen blocked a Bulldog shot at the buzzer. Deniston led the Bluejay with 14 points. Loewen and Ediger each scored 13.

Coming—Tabor will travel to Southwestern (9-9, 13-13) Thursday for a 6 p.m. game. The Bluejays will host Bethany (5-13, 7-17) Saturday at 5 p.m.