LINDSBORG — Things turned south real quick for the Bethany College men’s basketball team.
After a neck-and-neck first 24 minutes of play, two-time defending Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference champions Tabor College used a 12-0 run to create separation, and ultimately never looked back in a 90-78 Tabor win. With the loss, Bethany drops to third place in the KCAC and falls to 9-8 overall.
For the entire first half, and a few brief moments in the second half, Bethany looked like a team that could compete with the big dogs. The Swedes already have an impressive road win at No. 15 York, and a win over Tabor would have put the Swedes atop the KCAC.
The Swedes were not overmatched physically — although defending KCAC Player of the Year Lance Carter did impose his will on the Swedes with 28 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Bethany shot just 38 percent from the field compared to Tabor’s scorching hot 58 percent. Tabor was also 9 of 16 from 3-point land (56 percent), while Bethany mustered up 31 percent 3-point shooting.
Bethany also lost the battle on the boards, 47-33. Tabor had a staggering 42 defensive rebounds, limiting a struggling Swedes offense to one shot almost every time down the floor.
Bethany had no problem making shots in the first half, scoring the first six points of the game. Tabor answered back with seven unanswered and from there the up-and-down game began.
Tied 42 at halftime, Tabor wasted little time in pulling away. The Bluejays outscored Bethany 33-14 in the first 12 minutes of the second half, which was a dagger the Swedes could not overcome.
Joey Habtermariam did knock the lead back down to single digits on a wide open transition 3-pointer with a little over seven minutes to go, but it did not amount to anything as Tabor followed that up with a 13-9 run to close the game.
Cody Harris led Bethany offensively with 18 points — 15 of which came from beyond the arc — and seven rebounds. Bethany guard Tyler Larkin left the game at the 8:41 mark with an ankle injury and did not return. Bethany has now lost back-to-back games for only the second time this season and has not lost three straight all year. They will look to avoid just that on Saturday at a tough Friends University squad.
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