WINFIELD, Kan. – The Southwestern College men's basketball team avenged an earlier loss to a nationally-ranked opponent Thursday evening. The Moundbuilders defeated the No. 23-ranked, and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference-leading Bluejays of Tabor College, 90-79, inside historic Stewart Field House.
Sophomore Cameron Hunt led all scorers with 23 points. The Duncanville, Texas, native, and reigning KCAC Player of the Week, went 7-for-16 from the floor, and was a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line, while dishing out five assists in the game. Jacob Horsch and DJ Wallace added 18 points each, while Barrington Hunter and Brent Smith finished with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. Wallace and Hunter finished tied for the team rebounding lead with seven boards each.
Julian Winton led Tabor (19-8, 16-3 KCAC) with 22 points.
Southwestern (18-9, 11-8 KCAC) shot 53.4 percent (31-58) from the floor, and 62.5 percent (10-for-16) from three-point range in Thursday's win. The Moundbuilders converted 64.3 percent (18-28) of their free throws, and out-rebounded the much taller Bluejays, 35-32.
Tabor scored the first five points of the game to take an early 5-0 lead. Cameron Hunt put the Moundbuilders on the board for the first time with 18:39 to play, but the Jays answered with a 4-2 spurt to take a 9-4 lead just under three minutes into the game. Following a timeout, junior Jacob Horsch drained a triple at the 16:33 mark, and in the process sparked a 14-2 run over the next four minutes that gave Southwestern an 18-13 lead with 12:32 still to play in the opening half. Tabor countered with six-straight points, and took a brief 19-18 lead at the 10-minute mark. The two teams traded buckets over the next three minutes, but a Barrington Hunter triple at the 7:48 mark opened an 11-2 run over the next three minutes that turned a one-point deficit into a 37-29 Moundbuilder lead with 3:44 remaining until halftime. Southwestern held the lead for the rest of the half, and pushed it to eight on two different occasions, but Tabor hit a triple in the waning seconds of the half to trim the Builders' halftime lead to 46-41.
Both teams scored on their opening possessions of the second half. Tabor added a bucket at the 18:52 mark to pull within three, 48-45, but back-to-back Jacob Horsch triples sparked an 11-0 run. Horsch's third triple of the run, and his third trey in 90 seconds gave Southwestern its largest lead of the game to that point, 59-45, with 17:04 still to play. The Jays responded with 10-straight points to pull within three yet again, 59-56, at the 13:48 mark. Tabor kept it close the rest of the way, but the Moundbuilders refused to break. The Bluejays pulled to within two, 72-70, with 6:36 to play, and caused some uneasy moments inside Stewart Field House, but a 12-4 Moundbuilder run, capped by a pair of Hunt free throws, eased the nerves and gave Southwestern an 84-74 lead with just 1:33 remaining in the game. Tabor snuck back to within six (85-79) at the one-minute mark, but Southwestern scored the final five points of the game on free throws, and secured the 90-79 victory.
With Thursday's win, the Moundbuilders improve to 18-9 on the season, and 11-8 in KCAC play. The Moundbuilders will return to action Saturday, traveling to Wichita to face the arch-rival Falcons of Friends University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Garvey Center.