TC men improve to 13-0 in KCAC

After defeating Kansas Wesleyan earlier in the week, the Tabor College men beat Friends on the road to improve to 13-0 in KCAC play.

Friends?Tabor earned its 13th-straight conference win Saturday, 63-60. It was the Bluejays? seventh KCAC game to be decided by four points or fewer this season.

Malik Brooks, the game?s leading scorer with 24 points, hit his stride early, draining the first of six three-pointers just 50 seconds in. Brooks made two more treys in a two-minute span, and Tabor later enjoyed a 6-0 run?which included a D?Marco Smith dunk off an assist from Lance Carter?for its largest lead of the game, 26-13.

The Falcons trimmed the margin to 35-27 by halftime.

Friends further cut the lead with a 7-2 run and later tied the game at 40. Kyle Baker made a three, but then Friends took a 46-43 lead.

Tabor built a 54-52 advantage only to relinquish it, 57-54, with 1:48 left. Brooks made his sixth trey to tie the game, and Gibson blocked Friends? next shot. Carter scored to put Tabor in front, 59-57.

Following a Friends miss, Brooks made two charity shots for a four-point cushion. The Falcons hit a three with 11 seconds left to draw within 61-60, but Brooks made two more free throws to put Tabor up by the final, three-point margin.

Two Falcon three-point attempts missed their mark in the final 3 seconds.

?We played pretty good defense, but we struggled putting the ball in the hole almost the entire second half,? coach Micah Ratzlaff said. ?We had some guys hit some big shots.

?The effort was still there. We continued to guard. That?s what saved us.?

Smith joined Brooks in double-digits with 17 points. Gibson was named KCAC Defensive Player of the Week.

Kansas Wesleyan?Tabor overcame a 13-point first-half deficit to earn a 76-72 victory Wednesday.

Aside from an early tie and a brief, 4-2, lead, Tabor trailed in the first half.

Kansas Wesleyan, meanwhile, drained four threes in a five-minute span and enjoyed a 16-8 advantage. Lance Carter fired back with a pair of two-pointers, but the Coyotes responded with a 9-0 run to build their largest lead, 25-12.

?(Kansas Wesleyan) came out on fire,??coach Micah Ratzlaff said. ?They hit absolutely everything.

?We settled down and guarded a little better.?

Kansas Wesleyan scored just seven points in the next eight minutes, allowing Tabor to get back in it.

The Bluejays drew within 28-24 thanks to a pair of Malik Brooks threes and a free-throw by Carter. Jonathan Gibson scored twice in the final 1:41, closing the gap to 32-28 at halftime.

Tabor went on an 8-2 run after intermission to take the lead, 36-34. Davaghndre Jones scored six points in a 1:17 span, putting Tabor in front, 40-35, but the Coyotes regained it, 43-42.

Kansas Wesleyan?s final lead was 50-49. Tullio Parry made a basket to put Tabor in front for good, and the Bluejays extended it to 60-54, only to have the Coyotes trim it to 63-62 with 3:35 to play. Parry and Brooks hit two big threes on consecutive possessions after KWU had closed within one, and Tabor made five of its final eight free throws to seal the win.

?We hit some big shots down the stretch, and it was a bunch of different guys,??Ratzlaff said. ?We shot the ball a little bit better, but we continued to guard, and we snuck out of there.?

Brooks led the Bluejays with 19 points. Carter and Smith each added 13. Gibson scored 10.

Coming?Tabor (13-0, 20-3) will host Bethany (5-7, 8-13) Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Bluejays will resume play Feb. 4 at Oklahoma Wesleyan (5-8, 10-12).