TC men buzz Peru, Haskell; improve to 2-1

TCmbbbRousellPB140140.jpg
TCmbbbRousellPB140140.jpg

Mike Rousell goes airborne to finish a dribble drive at the rim against Peru State Thursday. He scored 9 of Tabor?s 93 points.

The Tabor College men's basketball team improved to 2-1 on the season with wins over Haskell Indian Nations and Peru State this week. The Bluejays dropped Haskell 97-91 Nov. 10 in Hillsboro, and throttled Peru 93-56 Friday.

Peru State?The Bluejays were up by a dozen at halftime, with Orson Thomas and Damon Dechant each well on the way to a 16-point night. Tabor won decisively, forcing 30 turnovers?17 in the second half?and shooting 35-for-60 from the field Friday.

Dechant also had 11 rebounds?and Tabor's first double-double of the year.

But the game was competitive early in the first half, as the Bobcats built a 6-point lead 7:05 into the game.

Tabor roared back behind Aaron Whitelaw, who scored four straight points in six seconds to shrink the deficit to two.

Brent Nelson tied it with a fast break layup, and Tabor took the lead for good on the first of back-to-back baskets by Thomas.

Jared Hett hit a 3-pointer from the deep corner with 33 seconds left in the half?and boosted the Bluejay lead to 44-32.

Kyle Kroeker raised the bulge to 20 points?58-38?with a layup 5:23 out of intermission.

Seth Hardiman upped it to three, 76-46, with a foul shot with 6:04 to go, and the Bluejay backups?led by Conner Hampton?extended the lead to 36 with 2:23 to go. Mike Rousell scored nine points and Whitelaw had eight.

Kroeker had eight steals and five assists, along with four points?without either a turnover or a personal foul.

Assistant coach Anthony Monson was at the helm, as head coach Micah Ratzlaff missed the game while recovering from a back injury.

Haskell?The men carried a 51-47 lead into halftime?in no small part because they limited their turnover total to three in the first half?and started the second half strong.

But 14 seconds after Jared Hett buried a 3-pointer off an Aaron Whitelaw assist, things turned ugly for Tabor at both ends of the floor. Back-to-back turnovers led to back-to-back breakaway layups, and a series of point-blank scores by Solomon Horse-Chief turned Tabor’s lead to 64-61 deficit.

The game see-sawed until Mike Rousell knocked down two tough jumpers with a field goal by Damon Dechant in between.

The first of Rousell’s set gave Tabor the lead for good, and his second?a step-back 3-pointer?ramped it to 76-70 with 9:15 to go.

The Bluejays did not let up coming out of a time out, and ramped their lead to nine on a triple by Kyle Kroeker with 3:51 left.

A three by Horse-Chief cut Tabor’s lead to 93-89 with 1:20 to go, but Haskell came no closer.

Vanselow led all scorers with 25 points. Whitelaw had 16, Hett had 12 and Orson Thomas had 10.

Coming?The Bluejays visited Doane at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tabor plays at the Sterling College Classic Nov. 21-22. Tabor faces Lindenwood Univ. at 4 p.m. Friday and pairs off with College of the Ozarks at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Bluejays play at Haskell at 7 p.m. Monday, and begin conference play Dec. 4 at McPherson.

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