After the win against Hastings College on Thursday, Tabor Head Coach Shawn Reed said his team was “made for tournament time.” That sentiment was reinforced tonight, as the BlueJays outlasted Asbury 80-73 in overtime.
We play eleven people and I think that helps,” Reed said. “We had a point where we were wearing them down in the third.”
Amber Bonham led the BlueJays with 17 points on 7 of 7 shooting of the bench, while Teena Loewen added 18 points and 7 rebounds of her own. Asbury’s Kylee Gorby went for a game-high 27 points on 10 of 16 shooting.
“Our bench scored 32 tonight and that’s a big deal. Amber Bonham hit the big shot and went 7 from 7 from the floor,” Reed said. “Tonight she stepped up in that role”
No. 3 seed Tabor College and No. 7 seed Asbury University (Ky.) were about as evenly matched as you can be in the first half. Both teams shot 38% from the three-point line, with Tabor outshooting the Eagles 48% to 39% from the field.
Tabor’s balanced offensive attack was in full force, with nine players scoring in the first half. Taylor Hurd led the BlueJays with 7 first half points on 3 of 4 shooting, while Tena Loewen also added six of her own. The Eagles survived by junior Brittany Warren, who poured in 12 first half points on 4 of 7 shooting.
Amber Bonham knocked down a jumper to give Tabor a five-point lead with 2:50 left in the half, but Warren answered with an old-fashioned three-point play to bring the Eagles within four at halftime.
Tabor went on a run to 13-1 to start the second half and found themselves up 44-33 just three and a half minutes into the half. But the Eagles kept within striking distance, thanks to baskets from Gorby. The BlueJays led 55-42 heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter saw a run too, this time in Asbury’s favor. The Eagles climbed back into the game, in large part because of 13-0 that left Tabor scoreless for over six minutes.Gorby knocked down a pair of free throws and kissed a spinning left-handed layup off the glass to put the Eagles up three with 1:20.
“We relaxed for a minute and thought we had that one in the bag,” Loewen said. “We had to claw back in that one and Amber (Bonham) hit a big shot for us in the end.”
Bonham finished a layup, before the Eagles hit a pair of free throws to go up three with 36.2 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Bonham drained a three-pointer to tie the game at 65-65 and eventually force overtime.
The BlueJays took control in overtime, outscoring Asbury 15-8 in the period. Loewen and Bonham buried four free throws late, after forcing an errant Eagle shot to wrap up the victory.
With the win, No. 3 seed Tabor will move on and will play the winner of the Southern Oregon-Briar Cliff game on Saturday at 6 p.m.