TC women finish 3rd in KCAC

Tena Loewen grabs a rebound and scores a basket during the second half against Friends Saturday. Loewen scored nine points and had seven rebounds in Tabor?s 72-61 loss.In a battle for second place in the KCAC, Tabor?s bid to upset 21st-ranked Friends fell short, 72-61, Saturday.

?We have a continual issue with not starting well and with spotting people big leads,? coach Shawn Reed said. ?We create some pretty bad situations for ourselves. I?m proud that we didn?t quit, but that?s what?s going to happen when you put yourself in that kind of a hole.?

Tabor shot only 28.6 percent from the field in the first half (8-28) and got off to a slow start. Friends built an 8-0 lead before Tonisha Dean hit a three-pointer at the 15:47 mark to get Tabor on the board.

The Bluejays narrowed the gap to 12-10 when Dean followed an Erin Maxwell basket with a three-pointer. Hannah Paust added two free throws, and when Tena Loewen scored after a Falcon turnover, the game was tied at 14.

But from there, Friends outscored Tabor 15-4 with the help of three threes to stake a 29-18 advantage with 4:21 left in the half. The teams traded baskets, and the half ended with Friends leading 35-23.

?(Friends) had girls that hit shots tonight that don?t normally hit shots,? Reed said. ?Our game plan was to let certain people shoot that haven?t made them. They made them tonight, and that?s really frustrating.?

Tabor narrowed the gap to 37-28 with a basket by Dean and three-pointer by Mallory Zuercher. The teams traded scores until the Falcons made seven straight points for a 48-32 lead with 8:48 left in the game. Kayla Wilgers sandwiched a Falcon three with two threes of her own, but the Bluejays still trailed by double figures.

That changed when a 7-0 run brought the Bluejays within 55-47 when Loewen made a basket with 5:17 to play. Wilgers made another three, and Lewis made two three-pointers in less than a minute to close the gap to 64-58 with 2:01 left.

A combination of Tabor turnovers and missed shots contributed to an 8-0 Falcon run after that, which proved to be the final straw.

?I thought (Friends) executed better than we did,? Reed said. ?I thought they played harder. I thought they were tougher. All those things were a factor. We just didn?t execute like we needed to. We had a big opportunity, but you can?t go out and play like that and expect to win.?

Tabor shot 36.8 percent from the field (21-57). Lewis and Dean shared scoring honors with 14 points each.

Saint Mary?Tabor cruised to a 73-54 victory over the Spires Thursday.

?We outscored them in both halves,? coach Shawn Reed said. ?It was a good, consistent effort.?

The Bluejays enjoyed a quick start when Janelle Rust, Mallory Zuercher and Tena Loewen made consecutive baskets for a 6-0 lead.

Two Spire baskets sandwiched a Zuercher three-pointer, then Loewen and Rust combined for seven straight points to give Tabor a 16-4 lead at the 13:18 mark.

After the Spires twice closed the gap to seven points, Tabor answered with a 9-0 run for a 32-16 lead when Tonisha Dean scored at 5:01. That was the Blue?jays? largest lead of the half, and Tabor enjoyed a 36-23 margin at intermission.

?We had a comfortable lead,? Reed said. ?We played well in the first half, but we didn?t play as aggressive defensively, as I would?ve liked. But (the Spires) only shot 28 percent from the field in the first half.?

The Spires drained a three-pointer 10 seconds into the second half and narrowed the gap to 38-32 at 17:56. With the score 43-37, Zuercher hit a three-pointer, and a Rust completed a three-point play to boost the lead back to 49-39.

Saint Mary drew within 57-48 with 8:53 to go, but Dean scored consecutive baskets to give Tabor a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Rust led Tabor with 18 points. Zuercher added 14 and Dean 12.

Coming?As the third seed in the KCAC women?s basketball tournament, Tabor (13-5, 18-10) will host No. 6 Sterling (6-12, 10-18) in quarterfinal action Wednesday at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will face the winner of No. 2 Friends (15-3, 24-6) and No. 7 Bethel (6-12, 12-16) Saturday at 2 p.m.

?We?ll have to try and pull the pieces together and see what we can do,? Reed said. ?We?re going to have to come out and play with more fire and just get things done.?

Additional quarterfinal games include No. 8 McPher?son at No. 1 Southwestern and No. 5 Kansas Wesleyan at No. 4 Ottawa.

The championship game will be played at Hartman Arena near Wichita Monday at 6 p.m.

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