WICHITA – The Tabor College women’s basketball team defeated Friends University, 74-70 on Monday night inside Hartman Arena to win its second consecutive KCAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship.
Shann Sellers started the game for Friends with a steal and layup to give the Falcons an early 2-0 lead. A three-pointer from Tabor’s Morgan Ediger gave the Bluejays a 6-4 lead before the Falcons rattled off an 11-0 run to race out to a 15-6 lead at the 6:00 mark of the first quarter.
One minute later, five straight points from Tabor pulled the Bluejays within four, 15-11. A two-point shot from Nicole Decker cut the Falcon lead to three, 21-18. The Falcons answered with five-straight points, capped by a Sellers bucket to put the score at 25-18 in favor of Friends. The Falcons led 28-23 after the first quarter.
Morgan Ediger hit a two from the short corner for Tabor to cut the Friends lead to 28-25. Then, Ediger’s reverse layup at the 7:37 marks of the second quarter saw the Friend’s lead shrink to one, 28-27. The Bluejays took the lead, 29-28, 30 seconds later on a two-point jumper by Kaleigh Troxell.
At the 4:49 mark, Lexi Evans nailed a long three-pointer for the Falcons to give her team a two-point advantage, 33-31. The shot ignited a 7-0 run for the one-seed that saw them go ahead, 37-31. Tena Loewen closed the gap for Tabor, scoring the last points of the quarter for either team, one a layup with a little more than two minutes to-go in the half. Friends would take a 39-35 advantage into the locker room.
Sellers led all scorers at the break with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Yowana Posey added 10 points in the first half for the Falcons. Tabor’s Kaleigh Troxell scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point land.
As a team, Tabor shot 14-for-22 (.636) from the field, including 4-of-9 (.444) from behind the arc. Friends shot 17-for-28 (.607) from the field and 3-of-8 (.375) from three.
Sellers scored the first four points of the third quarter, stretching the Falcon lead to 43-35 less than a minute into the second half.
Midway through the third quarter, Troxell connected on a three to cut the Friends lead to 49-44. However, Sellers’ steal and layup at the 3:02 mark stretched the Falcon lead to seven, 51-44. Tabor wouldn’t go away though, hitting a three to head into the final quarter down three, 53-50.
Ediger’s layup in transition gave the Bluejays the lead, 56-55, with a less than eight minutes to play in the game. Sellers hit a pull-up jumper at the 5:53 mark to put her team up, 62-58, before Tabor went on an 8-0 run to take control of the lead, 66-62. The Bluejays hit free throws down the stretch and went on to win, 74-70.
Sellers led all scorers with 32 points and 10 steals on 13-of-21 shooting from the field, while Yowana Posey and April Quiroz added 12 and 11 points, respectively. As a team, the Falcons shot 48.2 percent (27-of-56) from the field, 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from three-point range, and 75 percent (9-of-12) from the free throw line.
Ediger led the Bluejays with 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 from the free throw line, while Loewen and Troxell added 17 points apiece for Tabor in the victory. The Bluejays shot 56.4 percent (22-of-39) from the field, 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from beyond the arc, and 75 percent (9-of-12) from the free throw line.
Tabor will now head to the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Championships March 8-14 in Sioux City, Iowa. The seeds will be revealed during a selection show on March 1 at 5 p.m. CST on NAIA.org.