Hot-Shooting Cougars Too Much for Taylor
UPLAND, Ind. – A blistering shooting performance from the visiting Mount Vernon Nazarene squad was too much for Taylor on Wednesday, as MVNU shot 74.1 percent over the final 20 minutes to pull away in the 91-84 decision.
Taylor led for the entire opening half, going ahead by as many as 11 with a 21-10 lead and maintaining an eight-point spread with less than four minutes to play before the break.
Mount Vernon Nazarene (6-9, 6-6 CL) began to take over from there, closing the half on a 10-2 stretch to draw within a single point at the break, with TU holding a slim 38-37 lead.
Taylor struggled from the floor in the first half, shooting 39.5 percent but controlled the action with 10 offensive rebounds and a 20-6 scoring advantage in the paint.
Those trends slipped away in the final stanza however, while the guests got white-hot from the floor to pull in front. MVNU opened the half with seven-straight points and 10 of the first 12 to complete a 20-4 run that dated back to the final minutes of the first half.
Taylor remained within striking distance, trading shots with the Cougars and managing to cut the deficit down to a single point at the mid-way mark of the half. Mount Vernon Nazarene answered with three-straight makes from deep and continued putting on an offensive display to steadily pull away.
MVNU finished the decisive second half with 20 makes in 27 attempts, with a nine-of-13 effort from three-point range. The Cougars closed the game shooting 60.0 percent from the floor with 16 treys in 28 chances. Taylor could not keep the pace, shooting 41.2 percent overall and just 32.3 percent from deep.
CJ Penha posted his fifth-straight game with at least 20 points to lead TU, finishing with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. Jason Hubbard followed with 18 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals for his seventh double-double of the season.
Kaden Fuhrmann excelled in a starting role, drilling six-of-10 shots for 15 points and reached double-figures in scoring for the fourth time in his last five, while James McCloud finished with 10 points. Gavin Yoon went three-of-five from three-point range for nine points and Vincent Miranda drew to within 36 points of 1,000 for his career by netting nine.
Taylor (11-10, 5-8 CL) will look to bounce back on Saturday at 1:00 pm when it hosts No. 11 Bethel (18-6, 8-4 CL).