TC men earn first KCAC win

Malik Brooks scores two points for Tabor during the first half against Friends Saturday. Brooks scored a game-high 22 points in Tabor?s 73-64 victory over the Falcons. Phyllis Richert PhotoThe Tabor College men?s basketball team earned its first conference victory Saturday over Friends, having dropped a three-point loss to Southwestern earlier in the week.

Friends?It was a tale of two halves in the Bluejays? 73-64 victory Saturday.

Tabor trailed the Falcons at halftime, 27-26, having shot 45.5 percent from the field (10-22). But the Bluejays outscored Friends by 10 in the second half, aided by 60-percent shooting from the field (12-20), including 70 percent from three (7-10).

?I felt like in the first half we were just running our offense and that was it,? coach Micah Ratzlaff said. ?We weren?t getting any transition buckets, any easy buckets. Everything was kind of a grind, and it seemed like nobody was going hard.

?In the second half, I just thought we were aggressive. I thought our shot selection was good, but at the same time, I thought everybody that shot it really had confidence.?

Tabor took its first lead, 8-6, when Malik Brooks fired off back-to-back threes less than three minutes into the game. The teams traded baskets, but Friends regained the advantage.

Trailing 19-14 after a Falcon three, Tabor drew within two when Brooks made his third three of the night. John Jedneak chipped in a second-chance basket and two free throws, then Dewayne Biggs scored a three-point play sandwiched between two Falcon turnovers to push the score in favor of Tabor, 24-21, with 2:35 left in the half. A three-point play by the Falcons at the end of the half gave Friends a one-point advantage at the break.

The teams traded scores until Brooks scored eight straight points, including two threes and a coast-to-coast basket after a steal. When Chance LeBlanc drained a three, Tabor led, 42-34. Biggs hit a three that pushed the margin to double figures, 47-36, and the closest Friends got after that was within five.

Brooks made his sixth three-pointer of the night with 2:30 to go for a 65-55 score, and Tabor held on down the stretch for the nine-point victory.

?We were 7 for 10 from the three in the second half, so we shot 70 percent from the three,? Ratzlaff said. ?That was huge for us. We weren?t getting a whole lot of post touches because they were in zone, so you?ve got to hit shots.

?It was a good team win, and even though it was ugly, we?re excited about it.?

Brooks led all scorers with 22 points. Biggs added 17 and Jake Arck 12.

Southwestern?Tabor lost to the undefeated Moundbuilders, 67-64, Thursday.

Southwestern claimed an early lead, but a Malik Brooks three-pointer put Tabor in front, 12-11.

A 6-1 Bluejay surge extended Tabor?s lead to 18-12 when Jonathan Gibson scored, and Tabor built to its largest lead of the night, 27-20, after consecutive baskets by Jake Arck. Tabor took a 29-25 lead into intermission.

With Tabor in front, 35-30, after Andrew Thomas scored, Southwestern fired back nine unanswered points to reclaim the lead for good. Twice, Southwestern led by as many as 11 points, the final time being, 53-42, with 8:26 left to play.

Tabor chipped away at the lead, drawing within 53-49 when Thomas made a basket. After Southwestern extended it to 57-49, Dewayne Biggs and John Jedneak combined for eight Bluejay points to Southwestern?s one over the next 2:34 to bring Tabor within 58-57.

Tabor was within one twice more, the final time at 63-62 with 28 seconds left. Thomas scored with 11 seconds left for a 66-64 margin, and Southwestern added a free throw. A Tabor three-point attempt at the buzzer missed its mark.

Tabor shot 40.3 percent from the field (25-62), while Southwestern shot 36.7 percent (22-60). The Bluejays committed 15 turnovers to Southwestern?s nine.

Two Bluejays turned in double-double performances. Thomas led the team in scoring with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jedneak added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Arck chipped in 12 points.

Coming?Tabor (1-1, 3-8) will host the University of Saint Mary (2-0, 8-2)?Thursday at 8 p.m. and will travel to McPherson (1-1, 4-7) Saturday at 7 p.m. The Spires are receiving votes in the coaches? Top 25 poll.

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