Late Rally Halts RV Taylor’s Upset Bid


JOLIET, Ill. – Taylor held a 10-point lead, 51-41, with 9:03 left to play in the fourth quarter, but No. 5 Saint Francis (IL) ended the contest on a 22-7 run to send TU to the 63-58 defeat and deny the Trojans’ upset attempt.


USF (2-2) took control of the first 10 minutes of action, using an 8-0 run to take an early 12-4 lead, before holding a 19-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.


TU still trailed by nine points, 22-13, at the 9:31 mark of the second period, but a hoop-and-harm by Kendall Bradbury and a trey by Cassidy Wyse brought the Trojans within three, 22-19. Saint Francis extended the lead back out to six, but Becca Buchs knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit in half, making it a 32-39 USF lead at the break.


Taylor dominated the third quarter, outscoring the hosts, 20-9, to hold a 49-41 lead entering the final stanza. The Fighting Saints took a brief three-point lead at the five-minute mark of the third period on a three-pointer, but Bradbury drained a triple on the ensuing possession to quickly bring TU back into a 39-39 tie and spark a 13-2 TU run over the final 4:51 of the quarter.


The Trojans opened up a game-high 10-point lead with 9:03 remaining in the game, but USF ripped off a 17-6 run, capped by an and-one to take a 58-56 lead with 90 seconds to go in the contest. Aubrey Wright calmly sank a pair of free throws at the 1:06 mark to tie the game at 58 points apiece, before fifth-ranked Saint Francis tallied the final five points for the win.


Taylor won the three-point shooting battle, converting eight triples to USF’s four and shooting 42.1 percent from deep, compared to 22.2 percent for the hosts.


Saint Francis held a slight edge in shooting from the floor, making 22-of-50 (44 percent), while TU made 19-of-45 (42.2 percent) from the field. The Fighting Saints also outrebounded Taylor, 31-25, on the night.


Bradbury led the Trojans with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Buchs provided a spark off the bench, knocking down a career-high four three-pointers on just five attempts to finish with 12 points. Wyse chipped in 10 points, Wright added six points and a team-high five assists and Josie Cobb notched five points and six boards.


Next on the schedule for RV Taylor (2-4) is the Zweifel Pritchett Classic at Asbury University on Friday and Saturday. The Trojans will take on the tournament host Asbury (2-3) at 6:00 pm on Friday night, before facing Shawnee State (5-1), who is ranked No. 5 in NAIA Division 1, at 12:00 pm on Saturday.