Crowe Leads Trojans to Victory in Top-25 Showdown
UPLAND, Ind. – Evan Crowe erupted for 29 points, Jake Heggeland posted a double-double and Ryan Robinson netted 20 points off the bench as No. 12 Taylor remained unbeaten inside Odle Arena this season with a 90-82 triumph over No. 21 Spring Arbor.
The Trojans shook free from a recent shooting slump to post 90 points on the Cougars’ sixth-ranked scoring defense, nailing 11-of-23 looks from beyond the arc to eclipse the 80-point barrier for the eighth time in nine outings and reach the 90-point mark for the sixth time this season.
Crowe sparked the attack with a game-high 29 points on six-of-11 shooting from the three-point line, while adding eight rebounds. Heggeland added 18 points, 13 boards, three assists and two blocks for his third double-double in the last five games and Robinson sank five-of-eight shots, while adding 20 points and four helpers off the bench.
The trio combined for 67 points on 56.4-percent shooting and was assisted by eight points and five assists from Mason Degenkolb, six points from Keaton Hendricks and two blocks Emmanuel Boateng.
In addition to the hot shooting, the Trojans beat Spring Arbor (9-2, 0-2 CL), 38-24, in the paint and won the battle on the glass by a 44-35 margin, while pulling down 13 offensive caroms for a 12-5 edge in second-chance points.
Neither team could find a rhythm early into the evening, as SAU held a 15-12 lead seven minutes into the contest before Taylor got on track and rattled off a 12-2 rally to take a 24-17 lead. TU capped the spurt with back-to-back triples from Hendricks and Crowe, before Crowe added two more long-distance shots to open a 30-22 cushion with 6:47 to play in the half.
A hoop from Robinson maintained the spread at eight with just over three minutes left in the period, but the Cougars drew to within five at the break and opened the second half on an 11-2 charge to reclaim a 52-48 advantage.
Robinson slowed the surge with a trifecta and scored a pair of transition buckets four minutes later to push Taylor back in front by a 60-57 margin at the midway point of the final stanza.
Spring Arbor momentarily took back the lead with 6:29 to play, before Heggeland scored to put TU on top for good and another Crowe triple opened a 74-70 edge with 5:22 left.
Crowe also turned away SAU’s final push of the contest, drilling a sixth triple to push the gap to six with 2:02 to play and the Trojans pulled out the 90-82 win.
No. 12 Taylor (8-1, 1-1 CL) will hit the road for a game at Mount Vernon Nazarene (6-3, 1-1 CL) on Saturday at 3:00 pm, before returning home to host No. 3 Saint Francis (8-2, 2-0 CL) on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:00 pm.