Behind 19 points from Kyle Kroeker, 17 from Damon Dechant and a baker’s dozen from Dan Hann, the Tabor College men’s basketball team routed Ottawa 78-67 Saturday night. The Bluejays scored the first nine points, led 37-29 at halftime and played none of their starters more than 28 minutes.
Two days after being broken down by McPherson’s aggressive rebounding, Tabor claimed 67 percent of the missed shots?84 percent on their defensive end?but also shot the lights out. The Bluejays hit 58 percent from the field and added 25 points from the foul line while Ottawa posted a 4-for-19 3-point shooting mark.
Powered by consistent inside scoring, Tabor?s lead reached 53-37 after halftime.
The road win was the Bluejays? second of the conference season. The Bluejays will seek their first home win against a KCAC foe when they host Bethany on Jan. 9.
McPherson?The Bluejays sustained their second straight conference home loss, as the Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 50-34 and the game 79-65 Thursday night in Hillsboro.
Led by Antowine Lamb, who had 16 boards, McPherson dominated the glass at both ends and had outscored Tabor 33-28 at the break despite scoring on barely one of three shot attempts in the first half. How? They created 12 more opportunities than Tabor.
But Tabor?s 3-point shooting kept the Bulldogs on a short leash: Lawson Kingsley?s treys helped turn a 7-point deficit into a 23-all tie with 4:35 left in the first half. Kingsley also scored the Bluejays last basket of the half, with 2:17 remaining.
McPherson took advantage of the offensive outage, and grabbed a 10-point lead with a run of four straight field goals.
The Bulldogs pushed it to 11 on a traditional 3-point play 2:22 into the second half, but Tabor?s veterans nearly turned the contest around midway through the period. Kyle Kroeker posted nine points in 5:27, and with help from Dechant?s ?and-1? layup, lifted the Bluejays within four.
Then Mike Reece hit a pivotal 3-pointer?a run-killing bomb that made it 55-48 with 9:51 to go. Two minutes later, he used three free throws to restore a 10-point lead, then answered Dan Hann?s field goal with one of his own.
Rob Moore?s triple with 6:36 remaining helped Tabor cut it to six, but Trent Severs and Reece turned the late rally aside with one score apiece.
McPherson scored nothing but free throws the rest of the way, but opened the gap to as much as 15 near the end.
Kroeker scored a team-high 21 for Tabor, while Dechant (14) and Kingsley (11) both reached double figures. Four Bulldogs scored 10 or more: Reece (18), Severs (14), Marlon Dominique (11) and Charles Moore (10).
Coming?Tabor (2-2 KCAC, 4-7 overall) next plays Jan. 1-2, with non-conference opponents Lindenwood and Haskell Indian Nations attending the annual Tabor College Classic.