WINFIELD, Kan. – The Southwestern College women's basketball team saw a late lead slip away, and suffered its second-straight loss Thursday evening. The Lady Builders fell to the Bluejays of Tabor College, 66-60, inside historic Stewart Field House.
Senior Kenzi Taylor led all scorers, and matched her career-high with 21 points. The Forgan, Okla., native went 9-for-16 from the floor, and added four rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Juniors Jordyn Miller and Taylor Henderson each scored nine points. Miller was also the team's leading rebounder with nine boards.
Tena Loewen led Tabor (21-5, 16-3 KCAC) with a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double, and was one of three Lady Jays to post double figures.
Southwestern (13-14, 9-10 KCAC) shot 49 percent (24-49) from the floor, and 66.7 percent (6-9) from the three point line. The Lady Builders converted 75 percent (6-8) of their free throws, but were out-rebounded by the Jays, 35-30.
Taylor Henderson opened the scoring in the game with a three-pointer on Southwestern's first possession, but the Bluejays countered with a 6-2 run over the next two minutes to take a 6-5 lead with 6:58 remaining in the quarter. Kenzi Taylor followed with a contested lay-up, only to be matched by a Tabor free throw that forced a 7-7 tie with 4:07 to play. But Southwestern took it from there. Jordyn Miller's bucket at the 3:53 mark sparked an 11-4 quarter-ending run, capped by a Miller triple, that gave the Lady Builders an 18-11 lead after the opening period.
Tabor scored the first four points of the second quarter, and pulled to within three, 18-15, less than a minute into the second quarter, but a Henderson triple set a 16-2 run into motion that drained nearly seven minutes off the clock. Jenn Myers capped the run with a lay-in at the 1:57 mark that gave Southwestern a 34-17 lead. The Bluejays scored the final four points of the half, but the Lady Builders still held a 34-21 halftime advantage.
Freshman Jazmyne Laskey scored the first points of the second quarter, and gave Southwestern a 36-21 edge just over 30 seconds into the second half, but Tabor returned the favor with a triple on its next possession. That basket marked the first points of a Bluejay run over the next three minutes that pulled Tabor to within five, 38-33, at the 6:03 mark. But that was as close as Tabor would get in the quarter. Freshman Maddie Rogers converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 5:35 mark to push the lead back out to eight (41-33). Just over four minutes later, a Me'Shelle Parker runner pushed the lead back into double digits at 49-39 with 1:10 to play, but by the end of the third quarter, the Jays had pulled back to within eight, 52-44.
Taylor's old-fashioned three-point play pushed Southwestern's lead back to double figures, 55-45, just over a minute into the fourth quarter. Tabor answered with buckets on back-to-back possessions, and pulled to within six, 55-49, with 7:30 remaining in regulation. The Lady Builders found an answer for every Tabor bucket over the next three minutes, including a pair of Parker free throws at the 4:06 mark that gave Southwestern a 60-54 edge. But those free throws also marked Southwestern's final points of the game. Tabor turned up its defensive pressure to force five turnovers in the final four minutes, and finished the game on a 12-0 run, and escaped Stewart Field House with a 66-60 comeback victory.
Thursday's loss drops Southwestern to 13-14 on the season, and 9-10 in KCAC play. The Lady Builders will return to action Saturday, traveling to Wichita to face the arch-rival Falcons of Friends University. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. inside the Garvey Center.