The Tabor women struggled through another week with double-digit losses to McPherson and Kansas Wesleyan.
The Bluejays now stand at 3-19 overall and 1-11 in the KCAC.
?We are trying to band together and work hard in these final three weeks of the season,? coach Shawn Reed said. ?If we can have a game where we put things together at both ends of the court, then I think we will be pleased with the results.?
Kansas Wesleyan?Tabor struggled and never really threatened the Coyotes, trailing by as much as 35 points in the second half before sophomore Hannah Paust scored 12 points in the last nine minutes of the game to give KWU the final 70-44 margin of victory.
?The first half of this game was not pretty,? coach Shawn Reed said. ?I thought we stood around offensively and did not execute at either end of the court.
?We had only six turnovers at halftime, which was a tremendous improvement, but we were not moving on offensive, we could not make a shot and our defensive execution was poor.?
He said he thought Tabor improved offensively in the second half, despite the final score.
?We moved the ball well against the Coyote zone and we got much better looks at the basket,? Reed said. ?We still did not hit very many shots, but we played with a lot more energy and executed better. We also did a much better job of taking care of the basketball.?
The Bluejays went up, 4-3, in the first three minutes of play, but then let KWU escape with 10 unanswered points before Whitney Frise found the basket from three-point range at 9:50 to make it 13-6.
The Coyotes went on to score four times from beyond the arc in the next four minutes, going up 27-13 despite two three-pointers from Katlyn Mary. KWU outscored Tabor, 12-7, in the last 4:40 of the half to lead, 39-20, at the break.
KWU ran away with the Bluejays in the second half, scoring 31 points to Tabor?s 24. The Coyotes took their biggest lead of the night at 62-27 with 9:11 to go.
Hannah Paust heated up in the last nine minutes of play for 12 points, including 8-for-8 at the line, but it wasn?t nearly enough.
Mary contributed 14 points, including four three-pointers.
?We shot the ball seven more times than KWU, made one more free throw, had two more offensive rebounds and five fewer turnovers,? Reed said. ?Those are all positive signs but when you don?t shoot the ball well and your opponent does, all of those positives don’t mean as much.?
McPherson ?Tabor trailed by as many as 20 points about 14 minutes into the second half before finishing with a 64-49 road loss Thursday.
?Turnovers and a lack of rebounding really hurt us,? coach Shawn Reed said. ?We made a lot of mistakes in the first half defensively that cost us. The second half was better but we still did not block out and we committed too many turn?overs.?
The Bluejays battled the Bulldogs pretty well through most of the first half. When Kaitlyn Mary drained back-to-back three-pointers a few seconds on either side of the 6:00 mark, Tabor led 22-16.
But McPherson responded with a 16-2 run to end the half with a 33-24 lead. Tabor committed nine turnovers during that stretch and finished with 18 for the half.
When the Bulldogs started the second half with six unanswered points, it appeared the game would get ugly quickly. But Tabor battled to hold on even as McPherson established its biggest lead of the night at 48-28 when the Bulldogs? Elice Frey sank a pair of free throws with 14:50 left in the half.
But McPherson went cold while Mary heated up for Tabor by scoring five unanswered points over the next five minutes. From that point, the two teams more or less traded points.
Mary scored Tabor?s last nine points on three three-pointers in the final 5:53 to finish with a game-high 23 and Hannah Paust added 11. Frey, one of four Bulldogs to score in double figures, led McPherson with 19.
The Bluejays shot a solid 49 percent for the game, but 30 turnovers proved to be their undoing. McPherson, 7-4 in the KCAC and 12-10 overall, shot only 34 percent, but turned the ball over 10 fewer times.
?At halftime we were shooting 58 percent from the floor but still trailed, 24-33,? Reed said. ?When you allow a team 22 offensive rebounds and you commit 30 turnovers, those positive things we did offensively were wiped away.?
Coming?The Bluejays are scheduled to host Ottawa University Thursday before playing Bethany College at home Saturday. Tip-off is a 6 p.m. Thursday and 5 p.m. Saturday. See hillsborofreepress.com for same-night coverage.