The Tabor College men bounced back from a loss Wednesday against University of Saint Mary to win an 81-79 nail-biter against Bethany College Saturday at Lindsborg.
The split left the Bluejays with a 10-8 mark in the KCAC and an 11-13 record for the season.
Tabor established a narrow 36-30 lead as the first half ended, but in the second half the Bluejays began to separate from the home team—at least for a time.
Both teams pick up the scoring pace, with the Swedes outscoring Tabor by a 49-45 margin.
Tabor started the second half with 14-2 run.The Bluejays maintained a 63-45 cushion with 10:50 to play.
But Bethany scored the next 13 points to get back in the hunt, cutting Tabor’s lead to 63-58 at the 7:54 mark.
The Swedes got within 72-71 with 4:23 remaining and finally got over the hump when Bethany’s Mookie Duncan scored in the low block for a 75-74 lead at 2:30.
Tabor tied the game, then took a 78-76 lead on Diontre Cutliff’s two free throws.
Bethany set up a play to go inside for a tie in the final 20 seconds, but Tabor fouled the shooter with 7.2 seconds on the clock. The Swede missed his first free throw and hit his second one for a 78-77 lead.
With the Swedes forced to foul, Winton came through with another pair of free throws. Tabor coach Micah Ratzlaff instructed his team to foul before Bethany could get off a 3-point attempt.
Winton continued his prolific scoring of late with a 34-point performance on 11-for-23 shooting, including two of eight 3-point shots. He also hit 10 of 12 free throws. DeShun Patterson was the only other Bluejay to break double digits, scoring 13.
As a team, Tabor slightly outshot the home team, 47 percent (27-57) to 44 percent (29-66). The Bluejays had a noticeable edge at the free-throw line, making 23 of 34 attempts while Bethany nailed only 15 of 30 attempts.
Saint Mary—The Spires got off to a 43-30 lead by the end of the first half, then more or less played the Tabor to a standoff in the second half in the Bluejays’ 89-80 loss at Leavenworth.
Julian Winton led Tabor with 25 points, Jordan Horstick added 16 points and Jon Beristain 10.
As a team, the Bluejays shot nearly 53 percent from the floor (31-59), but the Spires were even more efficient at 54 percent (27-50).
The difference in the game occurred behind the 3-point shooting—Saint Mary made 12 of 21 while Tabor managed only 6 of 15—and at the free-throw line, where the Spires made 23 of 26 charities while Tabor made 12 of only 16 attempts.
Demetrius Cady was the scoring leader for the home team with 25 points. Teammates Reid Titus and Brett Marsh added 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Coming—The Bluejays will play their third straight road game Wednesday at Sterling (5-13, 7-18) with an 8 p.m. tip-off. On Saturday, Oklahoma Wesleyan (10-6, 16-8) comes to town for a 7 p.m. start.