Faced with one of the NAIA?s top teams at No. 4 Hastings on Friday, the Tabor College women?s basketball team was outscored 75-50. At Doane on Saturday, the Bluejays fell by a 78-60 score.
Tabor might point to a number of silver linings?particularly in the efficiency with which MacKenzie Dick and Tynan Honn posted consecutive double-digit scoring nights against superior teams. But among the positives, getting Gina Hullet back into the lineup was of paramount importance before the start of conference play.
Tabor will look for Hullet to make a quick adjustment: from the shape of a second-team all-conference hitter and blocker with the volleyball team to the form of a returning all-freshman standout basketball player.
Hullet came from the bench to score 16 points in 13 minutes against Hastings, but was less effective (4 points, 5 turnovers) in a starting role against Doane the next day.
Doane?MacKenzie Dick led the Bluejays with 15 points on 7-for-15 shooting, but Tabor trailed by 13 at halftime. Doane shot the lights out during the first 20 minutes and scored 19 field goals including a 6-for-9 performance from the 3-point line.
Tabor trailed by six less than five minutes into the contest, but used an 8-2 run to tie it at 18 with 10:38 to go.
Superior guard play was key to the sequence, as steals turned into transition offense for Stephanie Silvas and Dick. The Bluejays drew two fouls seven seconds apart, then closed the gap to 18-16 on a jump shot by Andrea Robinson.
After a sequence of choppy play after substitutions by both teams, Tynan Honn put in two of her 12 points to tie the game.
Doane answered with a 3-pointer by Hannah Helman, but Tabor struck back with Vivian Olvera?s layup assisted by Gina Hullet and a steal by Robinson, which led to a pair of foul shots for Tabor?s first lead.
Ahead 22-21 after Robinson nailed both with 8:17 to go, Tabor needed a stop to widen the margin; instead, Doane countered with a jumper by Savannah Lohmeier.
Sarah Wyckoff answered for Tabor, but 24-23 was the Bluejays last lead of the evening. Over the last 7:49 of the half, Doane outscored Tabor 24-10.
Dick broke a scoreless start to the second half 5:46 after the intermission; Doane pushed its lead to as much as 27.
Vanessa Munter (15 points), Lindsay Shaw (13), Kristine Ortmeier (12) and Helman (11) led Doane. Ortmeier added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Dick (15 points) and Honn (12) cracked double digits for Tabor.
Hastings?The Bluejays offense scored just 17 points in the first half, as the Broncos played suffocating defense for 20 minutes, holding Tabor without a 3-point field goal on the Bluejays? first seven shots. Tabor ended up making just one of 16 3-pointers.
The next day, Hastings turned a 40-32 halftime lead into a 74-58 win over KCAC powerhouse Sterling. Hastings throttled Southwestern 91-54 earlier this year.
Gina Hullet (13 points), Tynan Honn (12) and MacKenzie Dick (10) led Tabor in scoring.
Coming?Tabor (1-6) will play its first conference game of the season at 6 p.m. Thursday at Sterling. Tabor will host Bethel at 5 p.m. Saturday.