No. 12 Trojans Upended at MVNU


MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – A disastrous first-half effort from Taylor led to a lopsided setback at Mount Vernon Nazarene on Saturday, as the No. 12-ranked Trojans suffered a 90-69 defeat to the unranked Cougars.


TU struggled in all phases of the game over the opening 20 minutes, committing 13 turnovers and watching MVNU sink five-of-eight triples and connect on 57.1 percent of its shots in the period.


Mount Vernon Nazarene (7-3, 2-1 CL) took full advantage of the out-of-sync Trojans, posting an 18-2 edge in points off turnovers, assisting 10-of-16 buckets and going a perfect 15-of-15 from the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes.


MVNU knocked down its first four looks from beyond the arc to open a 24-14 lead and TU never recovered. The hosts extended the gap to 34-16 and countered Taylor’s lone rally of the afternoon to carry a 52-33 lead to the half.


The Trojans never mounted a serious push in the final stanza thanks to a 30-percent clip from the field over the final 20 minutes of action and suffered their most lopsided loss since falling by a 21-point margin at No. 10 Bethel on January 30 of 2016. The 69-point output was also TU’s lowest of the season and its fewest points scored in its past 15 outings.


Ryan Robinson paced the TU offense with 20 points and three assists, while Jake Heggeland added 14 points and three blocks. Mason Degenkolb chipped in 12 points, with James McCloud and Keaton Hendricks each netting six points.


No. 12 Taylor (8-2, 1-2 CL) will square off against No. 3 Saint Francis (9-2, 3-0 CL) inside Odle Arena on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:00 pm, before hosting Great Lakes Christian (0-9) on Friday, December 8 at 6:00 pm in the 21st-Annual Silent Night Game.