Tabor women open with upset of No. 11 Concordia

The Tabor Bluejay women?s basketball team opened its season Thursday with a 68-55 upset victory of preseason NAIA Division II No. 11 ranked Concordia (Neb.) University Thursday in Hillsboro.

With a lot of new faces on the perimeter and a lot of experience in the post, the Bluejays played an almost perfect first half.

All-KCAC returner Tynan Honn scored the first two baskets for Tabor, but spent most of her time on the bench, falling into early foul trouble.

Tabor relied on its guard play to open a 44-27 halftime lead. At one point in the first half, Tabor led, 42-19.

Coffeyville Community College transfer guard Lacie Ward hit three of five first-half threes, heading into the locker room with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

?I think some other people may have been surprised by her play,? coach Shawn Winter said. ?Everyone in the locker room knows what she?s capable of doing.?

MacKenzie Dick continued her contribution from last season, scoring 11 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting.

Freshman point guard Jocelyn Cook took care of the basketball and was a spark defensively, committing no turnovers and swiping away four steals.

The other freshman point guard, Amy Jo Mophet, was also a spark offensively, scoring seven first-half points.

?I don?t think anyone knows too much about them,? Winter said of the two guards. ?I?ve been so impressed with those two, just their level of maturity. It?s more like having two juniors or seniors out there than freshmen.?

Concordia made a run in the second half, cutting Tabor?s lead to 54-46 at the 8:20 mark on a 3-pointer by Amber Kistler.

Winter warned his team at halftime about the second half Concordia run.

?Concordia?s not ranked No. 11 in the country for nothing,? he said. ?They?re a good basketball team, they have good players and they?re going to make a run. You just have to withstand it.?

Tabor responded, pushing its lead back to double-digits on a 19-footer by Dick with 6:19 left in the game. After stretching the lead to 66-48 at the 1:56 mark, Tabor held off a late Concordia 7-2 run for the win.

Tabor shot 24-of-49 fom the field, 6-of-19 for three. Concordia was 15-for-58, 8-of-31 for three.

Ward led all scorers with 21 points, 18 rebounds and five assists. Dick had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

Tabor (1-0) was scheduled to travel to York (Neb.) College Tuesday.

For a video replay of the Bluejays? win over Concordia, go to hillsborofreepress.com.

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