Tabor women, men defeat Bethel and Friends

Taylor Deniston scores for Tabor in a nip-and-tuck game against Friends University Saturday in Wichita. The Bluejays pulled away late for the 80-75 winThe Tabor College women won two games last week to keep their KCAC perfect record intact at 5-0.

The week started Wednes­day with a comfortable win at home against Bethel College, and it ended Satur­day with a nail-biter against Friends Univer­sity at Wichita.

Friends—Tabor and Friends played to a near a standoff through three quarters, but a seven-point spread in the final quarter lifted the Bluejays to their 80-75 win.

The two teams were tied at 22 after one quarter, but Friends managed a 38-36 lead by halftime. Both teams scored 21 points in the third quarter to maintain Friends’ two-point edge heading into the final period.

“There was something like 18 lead changes and 16 ties,” coach Shawn Reed said of the game. “Most of the time, one team goes on a run and then the other team goes on a run. But this was literally every possession, back and forth, the majority of the game.”

Tabor saved its most decisive quarter for the finale, outscoring the Falcons 23-16 to nail down the five-point victory.

Morgan Ediger led the Bluejays with 21 points, Tristen Leiszler added 16 and Sammy Jo Peterson finished with 11.

“We didn’t shoot very well from the 3-point line, but in the fourth quarter Morgan made some threes, and that was pretty big,” Reed said.

The Bluejays shot 50 percent (28-56) from the floor, but only 23 percent (4-17) from behind the arc. The Falcons made 44 percent (33-75) of their shots from the field and 33 percent (6-18) from behind the arc.

The ultimate difference in the game was free-throw shooting. Tabor sank 20 of 25 attempts; Friends went to the line for only seven attempts and made three.

Friends’ Yowana Posey led all scorers with 26 points. Betty Akathiotou added 16 and Lexi Evans 14 for the Falcons.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been involved in a game that has been so close pretty much from the tip to the end,” Reed said. “It was fun.”

Bethel—Tabor started the second half with a 14-4 spurt in the third quarter to propel the Bluejays to a 64-53 win on the home court.

Bethel scored the first bucket of the game, but Tabor responded with an 8-0 run over the next two minutes to grab the lead for good.

With Tristen Leiszler scoring eight points, the Bluejays led after one quarter, 16-11. Bethel was within 24-20 four minutes into the second quarter, but Tabor outscored the visitors 12-7 the rest of the period for a 36-27 lead at halftime.

A 10-1 start during the first 4:30 of the third quarter put Tabor in charge at 46-28, with Morgan Ediger contributing six points. Defen­sively, the Bluejays denied Bethel even one field goal during the quarter. The Threshers settled for 4-for-9 shooting from the free-throw line.

With Tabor leading 50-31 heading into the final quarter, Bethel got off to a 7-2 start. But a basket by Sammy Jo Peterson at the 5:11 mark put the spark back into Tabor’s offense. The two teams more or less traded points the rest of the way, but an 8-0 spurt by Bethel in the final minutes of the game cut Tabor’s margin of victory to 11 points.

Leiszler led the Bluejays with 16 points; Ediger finished with 14. As a team, Tabor shot just under 50 percent from the field — 24-49 overall, but only 6-16 from behind the arc.

Abby Schmidt led Bethel with 15 points. The Threshers shot 43 percent from the field (20-46).

Coming—Tabor (4-0, 7-2) will host three games over seven days this week. The University of Saint Mary (2-3, 5-5) is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start on Wednesday, Bethany College (2-3, 6-6) will come for a 5 p.m. start on Saturday and the trifecta ends Tuesday, Dec. 12 ,when Sterling (4-1, 5-3) comes to town for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

Jordan Horstick scores 2 and then the add 1 to give Tabor a 84-80 lead shortly before the end of the game.  Jordan led Tabor with 23 points in the game.Phyllis Richert photoWith four Bluejays contributing double-digit scoring, the Tabor College men outlasted Friends University Saturday for a 85-83 victory.

The win, combined with a victory over Bethel College on Wednesday, gives the team a 3-2 record in the KCAC and a 4-5 mark for the season.

Friends—The game at Wichita was close most the way. When Jon Marjon Beristain scored at the 15:35 mark, Tabor claimed a 13-12 lead and built it to double digits before Friends drew within 50-43 by the end of the first half.

Tabor managed only 20 percent (3-25) shooting from behind the arc for the game, but the Bluejays shot well enough to hold the lead for entire second half. DeShun Patterson hit a 3-pointer to gave Tabor its largest lead of the second half, 61-51.

Friends rallied late in the game to cut that lead to a single point, 81-80, with 50 seconds remaining.

Jordan Horstick scored for a three-point lead with 26 seconds left. Julian Winton added a free throw with six seconds left to make it 85-80. Friends’ Jordan Murdock nailed a 3-pointer with 1 second left for the final 85-83 margin.

Horstick led Tabor with 23 points while Patter­son and Winton each added 19 and Beri­stain 10.

Bethel—Tabor fell behind a hot-shooting Thresher team at the start, and trailed 20-11 by the 13:44 mark.

But when Julian Winton scored 15 seconds later, Tabor launched a 14-5 rally that enabled the Bluejays to take the lead for good at 25-23 with 9:08 left in the half.

Tabor never faltered on the way to halftime, but finished with a 15-11 surge that carried the Jays to a somewhat tentative 40-34 lead at intermission.

But a 12-2 explosion over the first three minutes of the second half put the Bluejays in control and prompted Bethel to call a timeout with a 52-36 score. Jordan Hor­stick led the surge with five points.

As it turned out, Bethel never made a serious run at the Bluejays the rest of the way. In fact, Tabor achieved its biggest lead when Hor­stick hit a 3-pointer with 1:19 left in the game for a 84-61 bulge.

Winton finished the game with 27 points, including 10-for-19 shooting. Horstick added 17 points and Alan Urrutia 10 as Tabor improved to 2-2 in KCAC play and 3-5 for the season. Bethel slipped to 1-3 and 2-7.

As team, Tabor shot 43 percent (30-70) from the field, but only 12-29 from behind the arc.

Bethel managed only 34 percent shooting (23-68) from the field and made only eight of 32 3-point shots. The Bluejays out-rebounded the Threshers, 55-42.

Coming—Tabor (3-2, 4-5) will host three games over the next seven days. The University of Saint Mary (4-1, 6-5) is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start Wednesday, Bethany College (2-3, 6-6) for a 7 p.m. start Saturday and Sterling (4-1, 5-3) completes the trifecta Tuesday, Dec. 12, with a 6 p.m. tipoff.

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