HILLSBORO, KAN. – The Sterling Men’s Basketball team took on the Tabor College Bluejays Thursday for their last meeting of the regular season. The Warriors’ red hot start garnered a quick lead over Tabor but costly turnovers mixed with Tabor’s high tempo offense proved to be too much for Sterling as they would fall 84-70 to the Bluejays.
In the first half, Sterling fired on all cylinders playing aggressive on both sides of the court against the Bluejays to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead. The Warriors we able to continue their hot start through the early minutes of the game to take a seven point lead, 11-5, with 15:36 on the clock.
Sterling continued their lead over the Bluejays over the next several minutes, but the high-powered Tabor offense began to take shape on an 11-5 run to tie the game up at 20 with 7:58 left in the half. The Bluejays offensive surge continued throughout the rest of the half, shooting over 46% from beyond the arc, to head into the locker room on a 21-11 run and a 43-33 lead over the Warriors.
Tabor’s offense continued to roll along, building momentum as the second half went on but the Warriors were able to piece together four and five point runs to keep Tabor from extending their lead. Sterling was able to cut it to a six point deficit with 9:12 left in the game on back to back buckets by Josiah Ray (SO/Derby, Kan.) but key turnovers in transition gave Tabor that much needed cushion over Sterling.
An uncharacteristic 17 turnovers from the Warriors provided the Bluejays more looks at the basket, cashing in with 21 points get it back to a double digit lead with 6:35 left in the game.
Sterling hunkered down and was able to mirror the first half aggressiveness the next several minutes but the turnovers continued to add up, taking away any momentum for the Warriors. Sterling tried to battle back but Tabor would be able to keep their distance, handing Sterling an 84-70 loss.
Josiah Ray led the team with 17 points, Rolando Gardner (JR/Oklahoma City, Okla.) was second on the team with 16, and led the team with assists with four. Brandon Stacker(SR/Overland Park, Kan) collected a team high nine rebounds.
Sterling (13-15, 8-9) finish up the regular season this Saturday at the Gleason Center against the Bethany College Swedes at 7:00. This game will be available on the Sterling College Sports Network.
Be sure to check for news and updates on Sterling Warrior Athletics on Facebook (/SCWarriors), Twitter (@SterlingCSports), and Instagram (sterlingcsports), as well as the hashtag #swordsup. Watch all of the Warriors’ live home events on the Sterling College Sports Network.