Bethany outscored Tabor by 19 points in the second half, powered by another great game by Justin Jones, to pull away with a 76-59 win at Hahn Gym on Wednesday night.
After both teams traded blows for the first 10 minutes of the game, Jones would heat up for the Swedes to give Bethany its first lead midway through the half.
Bethany led 34-33 in the closing seconds of the half and got the ball back with under 30 second remaining. However, BC immedately turned the ball over and followed it up by fouling Tabor’s Taylor Zinn on a three point attempt with under two seconds left.
Zinn canned all three charities to give the Bluejays the lead and momentum at the break, 36-34.
Swedes’ coach, Dan O’Dowd, was able to refocus his team in the second half, however. Instead of launching three point attempts, he wanted Bethany to use the dribble-drive to hurt Tabor.
The Swedes did just that as Jones carved up the Tabor defense all second half, getting the rim at ease. Isiah Saenz also has success getting to the bucket and creating open looks for Bethany in the second half.
After trailing 41-40 early on in the second half, the Swedes went on a massive 21-2 extended run to gain complete control of the game. Meanwhile, the Swede defense held Tabor to just eight field goal makes in the second half.
Tabor eventually heated back up late in the game, but the damage was done as the Bluejays never got to within 10 points of Bethany.
Tabor (2-12, 0-12 KCAC) has now lost 12-straight after starting the year 2-0. The Swedes held the Jays to just 38% shooting for the game and 26% from three. Zinn led the way with 24 points for Tabor. Tevin Berry had 13 points, while Leon Marcikic scored 10 before fouling out.
Bethany (7-8, 3-8 KCAC) snapped a 10-game losing streak at the hands of Tabor. The Swedes now have also won two of its last three league games after suffering through a seven-game losing skid. Jones–the KCAC’s leading scorer–scored 28 points to lead the Swedes in scoring yet again. Saenz scored 12 points, while both Ray Miller and Baptist Chazelas added in 11, with Chazelas grabbing 14 rebounds on the game for a double-double.
Bethany travels to Sterling this Saturday.
BETHANY WOMEN 57, Tabor 54
In what was one of the most thrilling women’s games of the year for not just Bethany, but in the entire KCAC, the Swedes and Bluejays played a knock-down, drag-out, defensive brawl on Wednesday night at Hahn Gym.
Tabor would lead for the all of the first quarter, as well as half of the second quarter, before Bethany finally snagged the lead and took it in to the locker room, 29-24 at half.
Bethany would extend the lead to 11 early on in the second half–the largest either side had all game–before Tabor answered with a 16-2 run. The Lady Jays used that run to take a 42-37 lead in to the final stanza.
The Swedes slowly chipped away at the lead behind Lauren Welsch and Autumn Garrett. The tandem got crucial buckets down the stretch for BC. Meanwhile, Bethany’s suffocating full-court press gave Tabor fits on Wednesday. The press helped force 25 Tabor turnovers.
Bethany led 54-52 with under 30-seconds to go, when Garrett made a sensational play. Coming out of a timeout, Tabor in-bounded and the Bethany Freshman jumped in front of the pass and drove away for an easy layup to give Bethany a two-score lead.
The play proved to be the deciding play as Tabor had a shot at the buzzer, but a Terran Hoyt three-pointer was wide of the mark to tie the game.
Tabor (8-8, 7-5 KCAC) shot pretty well from the floor at 46% for the game, however, made just 61% of its free-throws, well below its season average. Sammy Jo Peterson was the only Tabor player in double-figures with 13 points on the evening.
Meanwhile, Bethany (11-5, 8-3 KCAC) snapped a four-game skid at the hands of the Lady Jays and has now won five-straight overall on the year. Garrett led the way with 14 points, Welsch had 12, and both Hannah Ferguson and Halei Wortham scored 10 points, each.
Both Bethany teams travel to Sterling for another key double-header this Saturday. The game’s can be heard live on Salina radio station, 95.5 The Rock, beginning at 4:45 p.m. for pregame.