Winners of two straight and three of its last four, Tabor grabbed a double-digit lead in the first half and never looked back, defeating Southwestern 80-67 during church spirit night in Hillsboro Saturday.
KCAC player of h week, Lawson Kingsley completed his second 20-point performance of the week, shooting 4-for-6 from the three in front of a packed house to lead Tabor. Kingsley and the Bluejays look like a new team, playing inspired basketball during the stretch run of the season.
?We?ve grown up,? said Tabor coach Micah Ratzlaff. ?Guys are playing smarter and harder. They?re doing a good job.?
Saturday?s game against Southwestern redeemed a 76-71 loss in overtime in Winfield Jan. 14. Tabor blew a 10-point second half lead in the first meeting.
?I told my guys ?we owe them one? because they stole one from us down there,? said Ratzlaff.
In the opening minutes of the first half, both teams battled until Tabor went on a 9-0 run to give Tabor a 19-9 lead with 10:30 to play in the first half.
At the 6:30 mark, the Bluejays took a permanent double-digit lead with a Cody Arnold 25-foot three. Arnold?s bomb put Tabor up 27-15.
Tabor took its biggest lead, a 47-24, with 15:53 left to play in ball game. Southwestern made a late surge, tightening the Bluejays? lead to 12 at 75-63 with 2:31 left.
Tabor shot 62.5 percent from three in the second half and shot 53.5 percent from the field for the game.
Damon Dechant finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. One of his blocked shots came in the second half in a one-on-one match up at the rim with Southwestern?s Marcus Batiste.
Daniel Hann scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out four assists. Michael Janzen scored 11 points and made 7-of-8 free throw attempts. Arnold finished with eight points, eight rebounds. Other Tabor scorers were Ryan Chippeaux (7), Rob Moore (5), Clay Shewey (3) and Jason Hett (2).
Southwestern was led by Justin Diggles with 13. James Davis and Tim Miser finished with 12.
Bethany?Shooting 70 percent from the three in the second half, Tabor had six players finish in double figure scoring to lead them to a 96-91 victory at Bethany Thursday night.
Tabor overcame a second half opening 10-2 run by the Swedes courtesy of timely three-point shooting. Bethany opened up a six-point lead with 18 minutes left. Tabor quickly tied up the game at 49 with two consecutive threes.
Bethany followed the Tabor with a comeback on 7-2 run taking a 56-51 lead at the 15:19 point in the second half. It took the Bluejays 59 seconds to tie the game 56-56 with a layup by Daniel Hann.
Neither team was able to take control of the game until Tabor opened up a four-point lead with a three by Cody Arnold. Tabor built on the 72-68 advantage taking a 95-85 lead with 35 seconds left to play.
The Swedes cut the Tabor lead to 96-91 with 16.2 seconds left with a Jason Schneider three. Schnieder?s late bucket was not enough as Arnold drilled two free throws, ending scoring in the game.
Lawson Kingsley scored 22 points and grabbed five rebounds. Arnold had 19 points, three assists. Damon Dechant finished with 19 points, seven rebounds. Daniel Chippeaux, Michael Janzen and Hann finished with 10 points. Other scorers for Tabor were Clay Shewey with six and Rob Moore with two.
Bethany had five players finish in double figures. Rodd Williams led the Swedes with 25 followed by CJ Littlejohn (24), Clayton Goggins and Clinton Ferguson (12) and Schneider (11).
Tabor improved to 7-9 this week in the KCAC and 10-15 overall.
Depending on how St. Mary and Kansas Wesleyan fare in the final week of KCAC play, Tabor has a chance to move into the KCAC fifth spot to avoid a play-in game to the KCAC tournament.
Coming?Tabor hosts St. Mary (7-9, 14-12) on Thursday and travels to Wichita to take on Friends (15-1, 20-6). The Falcons clinched the KCAC regular season title with a 63-60 win at McPherson Saturday.