It was a 61-52 week for the Tabor College women, as both games they played ended with identical scores.
Tabor started with a win against York College on Wednesday, then found themselves on the other end of the score with a loss at McPherson College on Saturday.
With the loss, the Bluejays find themselves in a three-way tie for second place in the KCAC at 10-4, but two games behind the leader, Friends University at 12-2.
McPherson’s win puts them in a tie with the University of Saint Mary for seventh place.
Tabor got off to a good start, establishing a 17-10 lead after one quarter. It turned out to be the only quarter the Bluejays would win. McPherson pulled to within 27-25 by halftime with a 15-10 advantage in the second quarter.
The turning point came in the third quarter, when the Bulldogs outscored Tabor, 20-12, for a 45-39 lead with one quarter to go.
McPherson won that one, too, by a 16-13 margin. It was more than enough to complete the upset.
No one broke double digits for Tabor, but Amber Bonham, Taylor Deniston and Kristyn Wedel each scored nine points and Kelsey Unruh added eight.
As a team, Tabor shot 30.4 percent from the floor (14-46) and 21 percent (4-19) from behind the arc.
McPherson, meanwhile, had four players reaching double figures: Cami Richardson 12, Brooklyn Coe and Sonerka White 11 and Brooke Racette 10.
As a team, the Bulldogs shot 46 percent (22-48) from the floor, and 4-11 (36.4 percent) from behind the arc.
York College— Tabor’s win over the Panthers on Wednesday kept the Bluejays tied for second-place in the KCAC with a 9-3 mark; the York women came in dead last in the conference at 1-11.
Even so, the Bluejays had to fight to the finish for their 61-52 victory.
Tabor got off to a 7-4 start in the first quarter, but when the Bluejays failed to score again for the next 6:30, the Panthers claimed an 11-9 lead as the quarter ended.
Tabor righted the ship in the second quarter with a 19-9 surge. Freshman Sammy Jo Peterson scored eight points for the team on the way to a 28-20 lead at halftime.
“She thinks and reacts and plays while other people kind of stand around and watch,” coach Shawn Reed said. “The way (York was) playing defense, they just were switching everything and packing it in. You have to think through some of that, and we didn’t do a very good job of that.”
The two squads essentially played to a standoff in the second quarter, with Tabor managing a slim 18-17 edge to take a 46-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
Tabor took a 50-39 lead with baskets by Kelsey Unruh and Kristyn Wedel. But Tabor hit another field-goal drought. This one lasted about 5:40 before Taylor Deniston finally broke through with a basket in the lane at the 1:47 mark.
By then, York had pulled as close as 51-47.
Peterson stepped up late in the game with three consecutive plays that secured the win. She scored a 2-point basket in the lane with 1:17 to go, dished a nice assist to Unruh for two points with 51 seconds left, then hit another 2-point basket with a drive into the lane with 26 second to go.
At that point, Tabor led 59-52 with Tristen Leiszler completing the team’s scoring with a pair of free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining.
Deniston led the Bluejays with 17 points. Peterson finished with 15, Leiszler scored 11 and Unruh 10.
“We looked really uninspired, and I told them you can’t play that way against a team—and I don’t care if they’re in last place or not. This group doesn’t believe me, I guess.
“They have had to learn some lessons the hard way, and I’m not convinced that won’t continue.”
As a team, Tabor shot 41 percent (24-58) from the floor while York was a touch better at 48 percent (21-44). Kellie Fredendall scored 16 points and Ciara Williams added 15 for the Panthers, who are now 1-12 in KCAC play and 4-17 for the year.
Coming—The Tabor women will square off with Bethel College (3-11, 7-15) at North Newton Wednesday, Jan. 24, with a 6 p.m. start. On Saturday, the Bluejays will host the KCAC leader, Friends University (12-2, 14-7), with a 5 p.m. tip-off.