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No. 7 TU Survives in Overtime, Moves On to Round of 16


SIOUX CITY, Iowa – In the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament, the seventh-ranked and second-seeded Taylor Trojans (30-4) grabbed a 68-66 overtime victory over seventh-seeded RV Union (26-7). The TU women’s basketball squad secured back-to-back 30 win seasons and three-consecutive appearances in the Round of 16 with the Wednesday triumph.

The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth battle with three ties and three lead changes. Down three with under five minutes to go in regulation, TU fought back with a 6-1 run to take a two-point advantage. Union answered with a bucket to even the game at 59 apiece, forcing overtime.

Merideth Deckard came up clutch in the final five minutes of action, sinking the go-ahead basket with 1:08 left in overtime. The sophomore hit a jump shot to extend TU’s lead to four points with 22 seconds on the clock. After a Bulldog three-pointer, Abby Buchs netted a free throw for the final point of the 68-66 win.

Buchs stepped up in the team’s first tournament game, pouring in 25 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the floor. The senior carried the second half effort with 15 points, leading the team to the finish line. The strong scoring output bolstered her position in the program record books, posting her 1,194th career point to rank 16th in school history.

In the crucial second half, Jamie Netzley also made an important contribution, logging all of her 12 points in the final three periods. The senior lefty also collected four assists and three steals, including a takeaway and fastbreak score in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter.

The first half of the contest elapsed evenly with both teams all square at 32. Becca Buchs brought the firepower in the initial 20 minutes of action, gathering four treys for 12 points. The sharpshooter connected on a long ball for the 61st-straight game, while improving her season total to 130 triples.

Taylor began the game shooting efficiently, netting eight treys at a 42.1 percent-clip. The strong shooting quickly disappeared, as the team was unable to sink a three-pointer for the remainder of the contest.

Following Wednesday’s action, the Trojans improved their record in the opening round of the NAIA Tournament to 5-4, while notching their seventh win all-time at the tourney.

With the victory, the Trojans advanced in the NAIA Tournament to the Round of 16 to face No. 9 and third-seeded Indiana Tech (30-4). The two teams will face off on Friday at 9:30 am (EST).