Hubbard’s Career-High 35 Powers Taylor to Season-Opening Victory
UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor men’s basketball team opened its 2020-2021 season in style on Saturday afternoon inside Odle Arena, pouring in 98 points and coming away with a 12-point win over Concordia to improve to 7-1 in home openers under eighth-year head coach Josh Andrews.
Jason Hubbard stole the spotlight throughout much of the contest, hitting 10-of-15 shots from the field and finishing with a career-high 35 points to lead all scorers. The junior also set personal-bests by sinking 14-of-15 free throws and added 10 rebounds, four assists and one block for his ninth career double-double.
Fellow junior, CJ Penha, also collected a double-double, turning in 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for his 13th career double-double and 12th in his last 25 games. Penha showed off his full offensive arsenal by going eight-of-13 from the field, with two makes from deep and a four-of-four showing from the charity stripe.
Hubbard and Penha had plenty of help around the starting lineup, as seniors James McCloud and Vincent Miranda were joined by sophomore-transfer Zach Baugher in finishing with 12 points each.
McCloud and Baugher combined to go 10-of-13 from the field, with Miranda making a career-high nine free throws to go with six rebounds and four assists.
Taylor had the hot hand throughout, shooting 57.4 percent from the field in the game and making 30-of-35 free throws for the program’s most made attempts at the line since sinking 32 in a 78-44 win over Ohio State-Marion on November 15, 2010.
The Trojans also found success pushing the tempo and outscored the Cardinals, 22-7, in transition, while topping the guests by six in the paint and winning the battle on the glass by a 42-23 gap.
TU showed off its new-look offense from the opening tip, with four different players combining to make four-straight buckets to start the game and push the Trojans to a quick, 9-2, lead.
Hubbard and Penha began to take over from there, teaming for 32 points on nine-of-14 shooting in the first half. The scoreboard reflected the strong showing, with TU holding leads of 16-5, 27-16 and 43-32, before a late CU push narrowed the gap to 51-45 by the break.
A 7-0 spurt to open the final stanza extended Taylor’s margin to 13, but Concordia made its lone push of the day with a 22-8 stretch to take its only lead at 67-66 with 11:32 to play.
Baugher helped ignite a game-changing, 14-3, counter from the Purple and Gold with a pair of key buckets, and Hubbard followed with back-to-back hoops in the paint to reclaim a 10-point cushion.
Hubbard then delivered the knock-out blow minutes later, receiving a perfect pass from Miranda in transition and flushing home a dunk for an 86-72 lead and the Trojans rolled to the 98-86 victory.
Taylor (1-0) will return to action on Friday, October 30 with a game at RV Thomas More (0-0), before hosting Governors State (1-0) on Saturday, October 31 at 7:00 pm.