On Saturday night the Bethany women’s basketball team had an opportunity to do something that no Swede team had done since 2007-2008: sweep Tabor.
With Bethany’s win earlier this season in Hillsboro, Bethany was able to make history with a blowout win in Lindsborg, 73-56.
Even though Tabor’s women had won the KCAC Regular season championship in three-consecutive seasons, Bethany played like the more confident team all night.
The Swedes used their defense to smother Tabor in the first half and it also helped Bethany get some easy buckets in transition. After the first quarter, Bethany led Tabor 17-7.
Bethany continued their stellar play in to the second stanza as BC’s defense continued to make life difficult for Tabor–who was once again playing without their top player, Morgan Ediger–and Bethany’s Halei Wortham and Samirah Miller would make big 3-point shots. Bethany continued their double-digit lead in to halftime, 36-23.
Bethany would stretch their lead to 24 points at one point in the second half. Tabor would chip away in the fourth quarter, however, Bethany would weave through the Tabor press and get easy buckets to fend off the rally from the Bluejays.
Tabor (13-11, 10-8 KCAC) was in a four-way tie for fourth place in the KCAC at the start of the day, now drops to seventh. Tabor had just one scorer in double-figures, Taylor Deniston with 15 points.
Bethany (15-10, 11-7 KCAC) was also in the tie for fourth, now they are in a four-way tie for third place with Kansas Wesleyan, Saint Mary and Sterling. The Swedes had two players score 15 points in Miller and the Salina Ortho “Player of the Game,” Cassidy Enns who also pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double. Bethany also swept Tabor for the first time in 10 years. Up next, Bethany plays at Oklahoma Wesleyan in a huge league game on Wednesday.
Tabor 81, BETHANY 79
At the end of Saturday night, the Bethany men’s basketball team is probably kicking themselves for getting behind by 18 points in the second half to Tabor.
Bethany was able to launch a massive rally and actually take the lead on Tabor with 90-seconds to go, before Tabor made just enough FTs to escape Hahn Gym with their 11th win on the year.
Tabor controlled the first half for the most part. Bethany appeared sped up at teams and turnovers hurt BC. Tabor’s Julian Winton scored 20 of his 34 points on the night in the first half, as Tabor led 36-30 at half.
Bethany made an Isaiah Saenz 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half and it appeared that the Swedes built a little momentum before the break. However, Bethany started the second half flat and allowed Tabor to mount a 12-2 run, putting the game what appeared to be out-of-reach.
Tabor held on to their double-digit lead until the 7 minute mark in the second half, when Bethany would go on a 13-0 run to get back in the game.
The Swedes continued to chip away at the Tabor lead when with under 2 minutes to play, BC would make a Tyler Larkin layup to take their first lead of the game, 76-74.
A pair of Tabor FTs tied the game up at 76, Bethany was unable to make a Ryan Wilson 3-pointer with 1:30 left. Tabor would then go down and draw another foul to regain the lead with under one minute to go.
Bethany and Tabor would trade FTs in the last minute before Bethany trailed by two with 3.9 seconds to go and had the ball, but had to go the length of the floor to get a shot off. Unfortunately for BC, the Swedes would fumble the inbound pass and would never get one final shot off.
Tabor (11-13, 10-8 KCAC) had two players in double-figures with Winton while DeShun Patterson added in 13 points.
Bethany (7-19, 3-15 KCAC) dug just too big of hole before the Swedes were able to make a comeback to make the game interesting. The Swedes were led by Larkin’s 22 points, Saenz and Lavaris Duncan’s 13 points, and Reed Stephens’ 10 points.
Larkin was the game’s Salina Ortho “Player of the Game” as he added in eight rebounds and seven assists to his point totals.
Up next, Bethany travels to Bartlesville, OK to play the Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles next Wednesday. Coverage is on 95.5 The Rock.