15th-Ranked Trojans Notch Road Win at USF
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Taylor women’s basketball team rode Kendall Bradbury’s 22 points and 15 rebounds to a third-straight win over Saint Francis on Wednesday, topping the Cougars by a score of 66-61.
TU scored 11 of the game’s first 13 points and led, 14-7, with 1:59 left in the first quarter, but Saint Francis (15-10, 7-6 CL) knocked down a pair of three-pointers to trim the Trojan lead to just one, 14-13, at the end of 10 minutes of play.
Taylor opened the second quarter like the first, scoring the first nine points to jump out to a 10-point lead at the 7:07 mark. Josie Cobb triple started the run, followed by three free throws from Becca Buchs and a three-pointer by Aubrey Wright.
Lauren James drained a triple with 1:03 to go in the first half to put the Trojans up by seven, 29-22, before the hosts added a last-second layup and then scored the first 15 points of the third quarter to turn Taylor’s seven point lead into a USF 10-point lead, 39-29, with 3:24 left in the third period.
Cassidy Wyse broke the nearly eight-minute drought with TU’s first bucket of the second half at the 2:29 mark, and back-to-back treys by Cobb and Wright brought the Purple and Gold to within four, before a Cougar three-pointer made it 44-37 in favor of Saint Francis entering the final stanza.
Saint Francis hit eight of its 13 shots in the third period to outscore Taylor, 20-8, and take the seven-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Trojans trailed by eight, 55-47, with just over five minutes left in the contest, but then TU netted the next 10 points to lead the Cougars by a deuce with 2:23 to go. USF tied the game at 57 with 1:09 on the clock, but Taylor scored eight of the ensuing 10 points to lead by six with eight seconds left, before securing the 66-61 road victory.
The Purple and Gold registered its first win at Saint Francis since December 1, 2010 to move to 10-3 in Crossroads League play, the best program’s best start in league play since starting 11-2 in 2000-2001.
Taylor withstood a 47.9-percent shooting night from Saint Francis, including 56.0 percent in the second half, and recorded a season-low six turnovers to grind out the win on the road.
Bradbury moved into third place on Taylor’s all-time scoring list with her 22-point output, giving the junior 1,843 career points to pass Natalie Steele, who scored 1,833 points from 1994 to 1998.
Wright, Cobb and Wyse rounded out the four Trojans in double-figures, as the trio scored 14, 10 and 10, respectively. Wright added three steals, while Cobb produced five assists and two steals, in addition to her scoring.
Next up for No. 15 Taylor (17-8, 10-3 CL) is a home date with Mount Vernon Nazarene (14-11, 6-7 CL) on Saturday at 1:00 pm inside Odle Arena. The Trojans dropped the first matchup, 78-70, at MVNU on December 2 and will be looking to avenge that loss.