Sterling?The Tabor College women battled Sterling neck and neck for more than three-fourths of the game before finally pulling away to a 62-51 victory Saturday at home.
Tonisha Dean hit a three-pointer just over three minutes into the first half to give Tabor a 7-5 lead. The Blue?jays never trailed again, but also never led by more than four points until a little more than 8 minutes to play in the game.
When Sterling tied the score for the eighth time at 43-43, Mallory Zuercher nailed back-to-back threes to put Tabor ahead for good at 49-43. A 10-4 run from there, capped by a basket by Tena Loewen, put the Bluejays up by 12 with 3:46 to go. At that point, Tabor cruised to the 11-point final margin.
Except for the score, the game ended in a statistical draw in most categories, including shooting percentage (40 percent for each team) and rebounds (33 for Sterling, 34 Tabor). The Bluejays? biggest advantage was in turnovers, committing only 12 to Sterling?s 19.
Janelle Rust led Tabor with 17 points. Loewen came off the bench to score 13 points and Zuercher finished with 11. Nikki Lewis contributed seven assists to go with 5 points.
With the win the Bluejays finished their pre-holiday schedule with a 3-1 record in the KCAC and 6-6 mark overall.
Bethel?The Tabor women were never threatened en route to a 20-point, 64-44, victory over Bethel Thursday.
The Bluejays surged to a 7-0 lead, capped by back-to-back baskets by Mallory Zuercher, and Tabor enjoyed a double-digit, 14-4, advantage at the 14:29 mark.
Tabor extended its lead to 33-9 with 5:06 left before halftime, and led, 33-14, at the break.
Nikki Lewis made a three-point basket with 15:59 left in the game for a 45-24 Tabor margin. Lewis made two more three-pointers for a 51-27 Bluejay lead with 11:54 to go.
The Bluejays led, 64-32, after two Rust free-throws with 5:51 left in the game, and Tabor cruised to victory.
Tonisha Dean and Zuercher led Tabor with a game-high 13 points apiece. Rust added 11.
Coming?Tabor will host a Post Holiday Classic Jan. 3-4. The Bluejays will play Missouri Valley Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. and Baker Jan. 4 at 5 p.m.
Janae Rempel also contributed to this story.