Tabor slips into tie for fourth

The Tabor College women?s basketball team enters the seventh week of conference games tied for fourth in the KCAC after a split week against Saint Mary and McPherson.

Tabor overcame a slow start to beat the Spires 65-59 on the road Saturday. The Bulldogs stole a 54-50 victory in Hillsboro.

Saint Mary?On a rebound and putback, Dana Champlin scored first for Tabor. But the Spires scored more often in the early going, putting together a long run to take an 18-8 lead.

After a 3-pointer by Kirsten Watson, Tabor closed the gap to 20-15 on a 2-pointer by Stacie Herman set up by another Champlin offensive rebound.

After several minutes of choppy play saw the teams combine to go 2-for-6 on double-bonus foul shots, Brittany Roth caught an offensive rebound with 2:45 left in the half and set up a 3-pointer by Watson.

Joanna Pyle knocked down a 14-foot jump shot, then pilfered a pass and scored going away, making it 30-29. The Spires lead grew back to 42-31 before Katie Fast threw in a bank shot early in the second half, sparking a 12-0 run that culminated in a 3-pointer by Watson that gave Tabor its first lead of the second period, 43-42.

Saint Mary ramped its lead back up to 57-46, but Watson drained a 3-pointer with 5:51 to go in the game, and Herman followed with a triple off a pass from Watson, cutting the deficit to 57-52. With Herman leading the charge, Tabor tied the game at 1:39 left.

Roth then came up big at both ends, collecting a defensive rebound and finishing a subsequent play from close range to provide a 61-59 lead with 53 seconds to go. Saint Mary did not score the rest of the way.

Herman finished with 18, Watson scored 15, including a 4-of-6 showing at 3-point range.

McPherson?After jumping out to 29-23 halftime lead, the Tabor College women?s basketball team endured a sharp shooting performance by the visitors and were unable to slow the rally in the final minutes.

The Bluejays opened up a 28-18 lead behind the hot-handed shooting of Joanna Pyle.

Pyle notched 3-pointers at 10:48, 9:16 and 3:16, the last of which came back-to-back with a breakaway layup and completed a 14-7 jaunt. She scored 15 in the first half.

But McPherson?s Jamie Brewer outscored Tabor 5-1 before halftime and the Bulldogs continued to close the gap early in the second period.

A 3-point play from Brewer 1:27 into the half was wiped out by a 5-0 Tabor burst, but McPherson scored seven consecutive points to pare the Bluejay lead down to 34-33 at 12:41 left.

Tabor responded with a 9-3 run during which Jenny Gaskell scored two baskets and assisted on a 2-pointer by Pyle.

After back-to-back Bulldog scores, Stacie Herman drained a 3-pointer that made it 46-40 with 6:25 to play. But McPherson outscored Tabor 14-4 the rest of the way to steal a victory on the Bluejays home floor.

After a 7-1 spurt tied the game at 47-47 with 3:37 to go, neither team scored until Brewer nailed a 3-pointer with 1:59 left, putting McPherson firmly in control for the endgame.

Coming?Tabor (7-5) visits Friends (4-7) at 6 p.m. Thursday in Wichita and hosts Ottawa (4-7) at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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