TC women roll past Spires, 73-56.-Tabor Secures KCAC Titles

Mallory Zuercher drives into the lane during the first half against Saint Mary Saturday. Zuercher scored 11 points in Tabor?s 73-56 victory.The 11th-ranked Tabor College women put two more conference wins in the books last week to improve to 18-0 in KCAC play, 22-6 overall.

Saint Mary?Tabor overcame a slow start to earn a 73-56 win Saturday.

?We shot too many threes again,? coach Shawn Reed said. ?That?s going to come back to bite us if we can?t learn that lesson. We?ve got to be more disciplined and run our stuff.

?Our defense wasn?t bad in the first half. Offensively, we shot 39 percent, which isn?t terrible, but we missed some really good shots.?

The Bluejays made 11 of 28 attempts from the field in the first half, but improved to 53 percent in the second (17-32).

In the first five minutes of play, each team made only free-throws. Morgan Ediger scored the game?s first field goal at the 4:32 mark, followed by baskets by Taylor Deniston and Nicole Decker for an 8-4 Bluejay lead. Tabor extended that margin to 14-8 at the first break.

The Spires hit three three-pointers to trim Tabor?s lead to 18-17. Jurnee Reid scored to start a 6-0 Bluejay run, and Tabor held a five-point advantage at halftime, 26-21.

Both teams increased scoring production in the third quarter. Tabor scored more points than it did in the first half. Mallory Zuercher got things started with a three-point play, but Saint Mary drew within one a few times.

A 6-0 run courtesy of Deniston, Kayla Wilgers and Amber Bonham gave Tabor some separation, 37-30. Wilgers scored eight of Tabor?s 17 points in the final 4:20, including a pair of treys. Kaleigh Troxell made a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give Tabor a double-digit, 54-44, lead.

Saint Mary scored to start the fourth quarter, briefly trimming the margin to single digits, but a Tena Loewen basket followed by three- and two-point baskets by Decker put Tabor in double figures for good. The Bluejays enjoyed their largest lead, 71-53, when Troxell made her second three with less than a minute to play, and the Bluejays cruised to the 17-point victory.

?The best thing we did all night was we had 21 offensive rebounds, and we got a lot of second-chance points,? Reed said. ?That?s a game where matchups are really important, and I thought we got in a couple situations where we had some matchups that weren?t advantageous to us and they took advantage of them. We?ve just got to do a better job of buckling down in those situations.?

Reid led the Bluejays with 12 points. Zuercher added 11, and Wilgers 10.

Sterling?Tabor used a second-half defensive lockdown effort to earn a 66-42 win.

The Bluejays limited the Warriors to 18 points in the second half?nine in each quarter?while scoring 35 points on 13-of-30 shooting from the field (43 percent).

Aside from a 2-2 tie, Tabor led from start to finish. Following the early tie, Tabor scored six unanswered points and maintained that margin for a 17-11 lead at the first break.

The Warriors scored twice to trim Tabor?s lead to 17-15, then Kayla Wilgers drained a three-pointer. Jurnee Reid and Morgan Ediger later contributed to a 6-0 run, and by the time Ediger reached seven points for the quarter with a three-pointer, Tabor?s lead was in double figures. Sterling scored twice to close the half, making it 31-24 at halftime.

Tabor outscored Sterling, 25-9, in the third quarter. The period began with a 10-2 Bluejay run. Four Bluejays contributed to the effort. Ediger later drained a pair of treys in less than a minute, then Tena Loewen scored Tabor?s next seven points. Nicole Decker closed the quarter with a basket to increase the margin to 56-33.

The Bluejays enjoyed their largest lead, 64-37, after Taylor Hurd made a pair of free-throws, and coach Shawn Reed cleared his bench en-route to the 24-point win.

Tabor forced 21 turnovers in the game.

?We kept them off the free-throw line, which was one of our goals,? Reed said. ?They go to the free-throw line a ton, and we actually went more times than they did, which was huge. We only had three turnovers in the second half, which was also huge. We took care of the ball. I thought all those things were important and were key factors for us.?

Ediger led all scorers with 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Loewen also scored in double figures with 11 points.

Coming?Tabor will conclude the regular season this week. The Bluejays will travel to Southwestern (10-8, 12-16) Thursday for a 6 p.m. game. Tabor will play at Bethel (3-15, 5-17) Saturday at 5 p.m.

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