Jays roll past Bethel, McPherson

Lance Carter draws a foul during the first half against Bethel. He made one of two free throws to give Tabor a 37-28 lead. Carter scored 12 points in Tabor?s 90-79 win. Janae Rempel / Free PressThe Tabor College men?s basketball team remains at the top of the KCAC after defeating McPherson and Bethel last week.

Bethel?Tabor did not need overtime to defeat the Threshers a second time Saturday. This time, the Bluejays got the job done in regulation, 90-79.

Bethel?s leading scorer, Adam Arciniega, scored 23 points in the contest?including 14 in the second half?and had eight rebounds. Arciniega scored 30 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the teams? first meeting.

?We wanted to give (Arciniega) a couple different looks with Lance, who?s about his size and then Chance, who?s smaller, just to see if it would give him fits, and it worked for a half, and then in the second half he just blew up, and we struggled guarding him,? Ratzlaff said. ?The good thing is, we continuously scored the whole game.?

Tabor shot 44.4 percent from the field (28-63), while the Threshers made 30 of 63 attempts (47.6 percent).

Ratzlaff said the Bluejays struggled to guard but helped make up for it by out-rebounding the Threshers 45-34.

The game remained close early on, and the teams battled to a 15-15 tie. From there, Tabor began to take control. Andrew Thomas and Dewayne Biggs scored 18 of Tabor?s next 21 points, giving the Bluejays a 36-21 cushion at the 4:59 mark. After the Threshers trimmed the margin to eight, Tabor extended its lead to 45-32 at halftime.

Bethel scored first after intermission, then the Bluejays scored eight unanswered points to boost their lead to 53-34. With Tabor in front, 63-45, Arciniega contributed eight points to a 10-0 Thresher run that cut the margin to eight. A 7-2 Bluejay run gave Tabor a 70-57 lead when Lance Carter scored at 8:27, and Tabor maintained a double-digit margin until just 39 seconds remained in the game when Bethel drew within 86-77. Tabor scored its final points from the charity stripe and won by 11.

Biggs led Tabor?s effort with 19 points. Thomas had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. JT Nemit scored 14 points and Carter 12.

Tabor did not find itself in as much foul trouble as in the teams? first meeting.

?There was a little bit of foul trouble, but for the most part, that wasn?t an issue,? he said. ?Last time we played Bethel, we couldn?t play anybody that normally would finish for us, and so our bigs being able to play the majority of the game was a big deal.

?It wasn?t a real exciting game, but it was a good game. Bethel?s getting better and better and better, and they can beat anybody on any given night, there?s no doubt about that.?

McPherson?Tabor led from start to finish in Thursday?s 67-56 win.

The Bluejays burst to a 6-0 margin and led by as many as seven in the game?s first 10 minutes. A Bulldog three-point play and three-pointer brought McPherson within 15-14 at 10:29, but from there, Tabor enjoyed an 8-0 run, including six points from Andrew Thomas, to lead, 23-14. The Bluejays took that margin into halftime, 29-20.

?They didn?t shoot a lot of shots early, so it slowed the game down a little bit,? coach Micah Ratzlaff said. ?I thought we did a really good job defensively, to not give up early buckets.?

McPherson closed to 31-29 after the break, but an 8-0 run put Tabor ahead by 10. The Bluejays enjoyed their largest margin of the night, 55-38, when Malik Brooks drained a three at the 7:36 mark.

The Bulldogs cut the lead to 10 with a 7-0 run, but the margin only dipped into single digits once after that, 65-56, when McPherson?s TJ Grant made a three with 23 seconds left. Then Tabor nailed down the 11-point win with two free throws.

Tabor shot just under 50 percent (28-57). Lance Carter had a double-double performance, scoring a game-high 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Thomas added 12 points and Dewayne Biggs 10.

Tabor limited McPherson?s Darius Hill to 11 points, who entered the game averaging 18 points per contest and who scored 30 points in the teams? first meeting this season.

Ratzlaff praised his team?s efforts, including limiting turnovers to 10.

?We did a good job of guarding and not giving them second chances, I thought,? he said. ?We didn?t make a ton of mistakes.?

The win, paired with a Bethany loss to Southwestern and a Saint Mary loss to Sterling, gave Tabor sole possession at the top of the KCAC at 10-3.

Coming?Tabor (11-3, 14-11) will play at Kansas Wesleyan (3-11, 5-20) Thursday at 8 p.m. and will travel to Bethany (10-4, 18-7) Saturday, where game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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