16th-Ranked Taylor Stumbles Late at No. 20 IWU

 

MARION, Ind. – The Taylor women’s basketball team suffered a 74-66 setback at No. 20 Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday night in a battle for second place in the Crossroads League standings.

 

TU used four makes from three-point land to hold an 18-14 edge over the hosts after the first quarter, including a 16-9 lead with 1:26 to go after back-to-back triples by Kendall Bradbury and Aubrey Wright.

 

The Trojans led by eight midway through the second period, after a pair of buckets from Josie Cobb. The Wildcats followed with a deuce, but back-to-back triples from Cassidy Wyse made it 30-18, before Jamie Netzley added back-to-back treys of her own to answer an IWU three-pointer, giving Taylor a 36-21 lead with 2:40 remaining in the half. Indiana Wesleyan closed the half on a 6-0 run to close the gap to nine at the break.

 

The Wildcats (20-7, 12-3 CL) held a slight edge in shooting over the Purple and Gold in the first half, 42.3 percent to 37.9 percent, but TU dominated the glass, posting a 21-12 advantage, including 10 offensive rebounds. Taylor also converted eight shots from behind the three-point line, compared to just three for IWU.

 

The home team continued its 6-0 run from the end of the first half and extended it to a 16-0 burst, as Indiana Wesleyan netted the first 10 points of the third quarter to take a 37-36 lead at the 6:29 mark. Abby Buchs swished a triple from the right wing to put an end to the run and regain the lead for Taylor, and the two squads essentially traded baskets the rest of the stanza, with IWU holding a slim, 49-48 advantage entering the final quarter.

 

The fourth quarter was similar to the end of the third, as the Trojans opened the quarter with four free throws from Cobb and Wyse to give TU a 52-49 lead, before IWU converted two baskets to go up one with eight minutes to go.

 

Bradbury scored twice in the paint around a Wildcat three-pointer, making a tie game, 56-56, with six minutes remaining. Cobb drained a three-pointer at the 4:40 mark to pull Taylor to within one, but a three-pointer from Indiana Wesleyan with 2:46 left made it a six-point game, and the Wildcats never allowed TU within seven the rest of the way and led by as many as nine in the final two minutes.

 

Taylor ended up shooting just 35.2 percent from floor for the contest, while IWU made 57.1 percent of its field goal attempts.

 

Cobb led four Trojans in double-figures with 16 points, followed by Wyse with 14, Bradbury with 12 and Wright with 11.

 

Cobb added a team-high seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Wyse grabbed six boards and handed out a team-high five helpers. Bradbury pulled down five rebounds and Wright recorded four assists in the loss.

 

No. 16 Taylor (18-9, 11-4 CL) will host Goshen (1-26, 0-15 CL) on Saturday inside Odle Arena at 1:00 pm in its next outing.