No. 18 Taylor Falls to No. 5 Marian in CL Championship
INDIANAPOLIS – Senior Cassidy Wyse became the 10th member of TU’s 1,500-point club on Monday night, but the 18th-ranked Trojans fell to top-seeded and No. 5-ranked Marian, 62-55, in the Crossroads League Tournament Championship at Marian.
Both squads started slow offensively, as the teams combined for 11 points halfway through the opening period. Taylor held an 8-3 lead with 4:57 to go, after Aubrey Wright knocked down her first two three-point attempts of the game. The two teams then scored 19 combined points over the final 4:40, with Marian tallying 13 of those points to take a 16-14 lead after the first quarter.
Marian (31-2) continued to assert itself in the second stanza, scoring the first eight points of the quarter to take a 10-point advantage with 6:09 remaining until halftime.
TU put its first points on the board at the 5:05 mark with a bucket from Josie Cobb, followed by a trey from Abby Buchs and another deuce from Cobb on a putback layup to bring the Trojans within three, 24-21. Marian scored on its next possession to go back up five, but Wyse knocked down a three-pointer to bring it back to a two-point game. The Knights sank two free throws with 18 seconds left in the half and then Cobb put two more points on the board to make the halftime score, 28-26, in favor of MU.
Cobb again recorded the first Taylor bucket of the second half, in between a pair of Marian threes, and the Trojans trailed MU, 34-28. Kendall Bradbury scored a deuce to begin an 11-3 TU run that gave the Purple and Gold a 39-37 lead. Wyse and Buchs drained consecutive treys to cap the spurt.
The two sides traded baskets until Cobb and Bradbury each scored a deuce to make it a four-point Taylor lead with 1:24 left in the third, but Marian scored the final four points of the period to knot the score at 48 points apiece entering the fourth quarter.
The Knights’ run spilled into the fourth, as the hosts registered six points to begin the final frame to take a 54-48 lead. After Buchs scored the Trojans’ first points of the quarter at the 6:38 mark, Wyse hit her third trifecta of the contest with 5:08 left to pull TU within one and become the 10th member of TU’s 1,500-point club.
Marian led by five, 58-55, with 3:51 to go, before Bradbury’s two-pointer made it a three-point game with 3:21 remaining.
MU would score the final four points of the contest, including a three-pointer with 1:41 to play that doubled the lead from three points to six, to make the final tally and hold off the Taylor upset bid.
Three Trojans reached double-figures, led by Bradbury’s 17 points, followed by 12 from Cobb and 11 from Buchs. Bradbury also grabbed nine rebounds to tie with Wyse for team-high honors, and Wyse contributed nine points on her three makes from beyond the arc. Cobb also added a team-high four assists.
No. 18 Taylor (23-10) will turn its attention to the NAIA National Tournament, as the Trojans locked up the Crossroads League’s second automatic bid by finishing runner-up to Marian in the league tournament.
The 27th-Annual NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament will be held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa from March 7-13, with the 32-team field being announced on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 pm ET.