The Tabor men’s and women’s basketball teams got rocky starts to their season with back-to-back losses for both teams on the road at Nebraska this week.
The men dropped two straight non-conference games at the York College Classic Friday and Saturday, falling to nationally-ranked Bellevue University before losing to the host team Saturday.
The Tabor women also lost two close games Friday and Saturday, first to NAIA Div. I opponent Peru State College before falling by three to Doane College Saturday.
Both the men’s and women’s teams now hold an 0-2 record as they enter their second week of a tough non-conference schedule.
Men—Tabor’s second-half rally against Bellevue University Friday fell just short in the final minute as the Bluejays lost their season opener, 70-63.
Tabor trailed by double digits at times in the second half, but rallied to outscore Bellevue, 28-14, in 10 minutes of play to draw within two. Newcomer Robbie Samuel seemed to get the turnover for the Bluejays with 20 seconds to play, but it was whistled a foul.
The Bruins went 4-6 at the line to take the seven-point victory.
Ryan Chippeaux started his senior season with a bang, registering a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Samuel and freshman Chance LeBlanc also made double digits with 10 points each, while Marc Hopkinson and Nick Sauer added nine points a piece.
The Bluejays earned 27 turnovers and 22 steals to stay in the game, with Hopkinson leading the effort with four steals.
However, the tune changed Saturday as Tabor got in an early hole against York College and couldn’t catch up to fall, 87-79.
The Bluejays went up first, 8-2, but York broke loose with an 18-2 run for a 10-point lead with 10:31 left in the half. The Panthers led at the break by 13 points, 45-32.
Tabor sliced the lead down to seven in the first couple minutes of the final half, but would get no closer as York shot 49 percent from the field and 42 percent with three-point shots to overwhelm any Bluejay comeback.
Chippeaux earned a second double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, shooting 9-16 from the field.?Hopkinson and Samual made double digits again with 12 points each, and LeBlanc and Justin Maian added 10 points a piece.
Tabor’s largest failing came from behind the three-point line, shooting just 16 percent and making just three of 16 attempts. However, they did earn 20 turnovers and 16 steals against York.
Women—The Bluejays continued last year’s tradition of closely-played losses as they started this season, falling to NAIA Div. 1 opponent Peru State College by just seven points Friday in Tabor’s road opener, 77-70.
Peru State established a lead early that they would never give up, despite?the Bluejay’s attempts at a second-half comeback.
The Bobcats led by double digits in the first half, but Tabor drew within 10 points, 42-32, going into halftime.
Tabor chipped away at Peru State in the second half, even pulling within three points with 9:22 remaining in the game, but the Bobcats would hold on for the win.
Janelle Rust paced the Bluejay attack with 19 points and also earned seven rebounds, with Nikki Lewis also making double-digit scoring with 11 points and nine assists. Loren Oliver and Hannah Paust added nine and eight points, respectively.
Like last year, turnovers proved Tabor’s undoing as they committed 27 turnovers. They were also beat on the glass, 48-25.
Tabor traveled to Crete, Neb., Saturday to fall to Doane College, 60-57.
After a back-and-forth first half that left the Bluejays trailing by five at the break, Tabor’s comeback in the second half would fall just short.
Rust again led the Bluejays with 15 points and seven rebounds and was the only Tabor player in double digits.
Lewis and Tynan Honn added nine points each, with Paust contributing seven points.
Tabor once again lost the rebound battle, 41-30, and committed 15 turnovers.
Coming—The Tabor men’s basketball team was scheduled to play at Benedictine College Tuesday, before traveling to Doane College Friday and Saturday for the Doane Classic. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. this weekend.
The Tabor women were scheduled to host Park University in their home non-conference opener Wednesday, with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
The Bluejays compete Friday and Saturday at the Midland Lutheran Classic in Freemont, Neb., with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m. against the host team and 1 p.m. against Jamestown College.