Bradbury’s Free Throws Seal Win at No. 16 Indiana Wesleyan
MARION, Ind. – The 11th-ranked Trojans survived 10 lead changes in the fourth quarter to grab a two-point victory on the road. Kendall Bradbury was crucial in the win on Wednesday, collecting a season-high 32 points, while sinking the game-winning free throws.
The final stanza was a battle from start to finish. The Wildcats (13-6, 6-1 CL) began the fourth by draining back-to-back treys to gain their first lead since the first quarter. Neither team could gain an advantage larger than three throughout the period. Becca Buchs came up clutch for the Trojans (14-4, 5-2 CL), picking up nine points, including a pair of free throws to tie the game at 70 with four seconds left in the contest. As the final seconds waned, Bradbury came up with a steal on an inbounds pass, before getting fouled and sent to the charity stripe. Bradbury, who is shooting a career-high 87.0 percent from the line, drained both free throws to give Taylor the lead. TU clung to the 72-70 score as the buzzer rang, landing its sixth win over a ranked opponent.
Entering Wednesday’s contest, the Trojans were the second-ranked free throw shooting team in the NAIA, which proved most valuable against IWU. TU went eight-for-eight from the line in the final quarter, providing the last eight points in the game for Taylor. The squad finished with 16 makes on 18 attempts, converting at an 88.9 percent clip.
Strong shooting gave Taylor an early lead on Wednesday. The first six field goals for TU were all three pointers, as the team shot 60.0 percent from downtown. The Trojans remained hot in the second quarter, going on an 11-point run, which was capped off by an Abby Buch’s deep ball. At the half, Taylor had 10 threes, while shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Taylor displayed great ball security and ball movement on offense. The TU squad dished out 18 assists with Aubrey Wright leading the way with seven assists. Not only did Taylor have 10 more assists than the Wildcats, but the Trojans also executed better ball control by winning the turnover margin.
Bradbury led the team in scoring, grabbing a season-high 32 points. The senior scored the first 11 points for Taylor, including three treys in the first quarter. Finishing with five triples, Bradbury notched her 200th career three pointer.
Also nabbing double-digit points, Abby and Becca Buchs logged significant minutes for the Trojans. Abby Buchs collected 14 points and six rebounds, while going four-for-four from long range. Becca Buchs nabbed her fifth 20-point effort on Wednesday, recording 20 points on four triples and eight free throws.
No. 11 Taylor will return to Odle Arena for its next contest, facing Mount Vernon Nazarene (10-9, 3-4 CL) on Saturday at 1:00 pm.