The Tabor College men lost to the University of South Dakota, an NCAA Division I school (4-7), 122-77 in Vermillion last Tuesday in a high-scoring exhibition contest.
The Coyotes shot a scorching 64 percent, 47.8 percent from three-point land, and scored 61 points in each half.
Tabor trailed 62-31 at the break, but scored over its season average against NAIA competition.
Four Tabor players finished in double-figures. Phillip Jimenez and Dylan Clark-Kaneable led the Bluejays with 14 points each. Kaneable grabbed eight rebounds. Ryan Chippeaux finished with 12 points and Max Frise 10.
South Dakota was led by Charlie Westbrook and Trevor Gruis with 22 points each. Gruis pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. Jordan Boots scored 18 points, including four of nine three-point shots.
Tabor committed 13 turnovers compared to the Coyotes? 11. South Dakota won the rebound battle, 51-31. Tabor recorded 11 steals, with five players with two each.
Tabor will return to action New Year?s Eve in the Tabor Classic tournament. The Bluejays open against Heart of America Athletic Conference Graceland University (2-2, 6-6) at 8 p.m. in Hillsboro.
The Bluejays end the holiday tournament against Culver-Stockton College New Year?s Day.
The Tabor College women completed their pre-holiday schedule with an 87-44 exhibition defeat at the hands of NCAA Division I South Dakota University in Vermillion, S.D.
?We knew going into the game that we would be over-matched in size and athleticism,? coach Shawn Winter said.
The Bluejays trailed the Coyotes at halftime, 49-14. Tabor shot 17 percent from the field in the first half compared to USD?s 49 percent. The Bluejays were out-rebounded, 15-33.
?After we got over the fact that we were playing a Division I team, I thought that our players just relaxed and played basketball,? Winter said. ?It took us until halftime to get to that point, but I was extremely proud of the way our team regrouped in the locker room and competed in the second half.
?We were only outscored 38-29 in the second half, so I was very pleased with the way we finished the game.?
Leading the Bluejays in scoring was Nicole Gentry with 12 points. Katlyn Mary added nine, Sarah Wyckoff seven and Amy Jo Maphet five.
Of the team?s 30 rebounds, 23 came at the defensive end. Mary led Tabor with eight while Gina Hullet added five.
?These games against higher-level opponents always forces your team to play together and rely on each other as teammates if they want to have success on the court,? Winter said. ?I thought our team rallied around each other and worked hard to find success as a team in the second half.?
Winter also was impressed with his team committing only 16 turnovers in the game. He labeled it a ?huge accomplishment.?
While the season has been up and down for Tabor, Winter is confident that his team can improve and win during the second half of the season, provided everyone can stay healthy.
?We have shown that we are capable of being a very solid basketball team at times and simply need to work hard to find consistency from day to day in practice and in games,? he said. ?We feel that we lost a few games that we could have won if we would have been more consistent in our play.?
The Bluejays will work on rebounding, defensive intensity and offensive execution during the break to better their chances when the season resumes over New Year?s weekend.
?We are excited about our potential in the second half of the season,? Winter said.
The Bluejays return to action against Hastings College in the Tabor College Classic at 6 p.m. Dec. 31. Tabor will turn around and face Central Methodist at 5 p.m. Jan. 1.