Taylor Routs Marian to Become CL Tournament Champions
UPLAND, Ind. – The TU women’s basketball squad dominated on Monday, defeating No. 6 Marian for the Crossroads League Tournament Championship. The team cruised to an 86-61 victory, maintaining a double-digit lead throughout the second half.
For the first time in program history, Taylor won the Crossroads League regular season title and tournament championship in the same season. The historic team won its last 20-consecutive games, while matching a program record with 28 wins on the season. Monday’s CL Tournament Championship also marked the first for the program since 1998.
The atmosphere was electric in Odle Arena on Monday, as both teams were ready to battle for the championship. Marian (27-6, 16-2 CL) shot the ball well in the opening quarter, netting seven-of-13 field goal attempts, converting at a 53.8 percent clip. Lauren James provided a spark off the bench for TU, offering eight points on two treys in just five minutes of action.
The Purple and Gold came out of the first period with a slight lead but the game proceeded pretty evenly through the beginning of the second. An 11-2 run for the Trojans halfway through the quarter propelled them into a double-digit advantage that the team would carry into the half.
James led the TU squad in the first half, posting 11 points, four field goals and three triples. Turnovers hampered the Knights, as the visitors tallied eight turnovers in the half compared to just one from the Trojans.
TU continued to push its advantage in the third stanza, extending its lead to 20 points in the quarter. Adding 13 points, Kendall Bradbury broke out in the third, going three-for-three from the field with one triple on as many attempts, while completing six free throws. The Trojans were firing on all cylinders offensively, tallying 67 points by the end of the third and surpassing Marian’s season average of allowing 60.2 points per game.
Taylor put together an efficient fourth quarter sinking five-of-six fields goals, along with eight free throws. TU grabbed the advantage in each individual period, finishing the game with an 86-61 final score.
Five different Trojans delivered a double-digit scoring effort on Monday, as Bradbury led the team with 24 points and a 70.0 field goal percentage. TU’s other two seniors followed Bradbury with 13 points from Aubrey Wright and 10 points from Lacey Garrett. Becca Buchs also logged 11 points, including a triple to tie the program record with 103 treys on the season.
As a squad, Taylor proved its strength at the free throw line. The squad netted 20 foul shots at an 83.3 percent rate, converting 19 more free throws than Marian.
The Trojans outplayed the Knights in almost every facet of the game, boasting a higher shooting efficiency from the field and downtown, grabbing more rebounds and assists on the night.
No. 8 Taylor (28-4, 16-2 CL) will now await the announcement of the seeding for the NAIA National Tournament on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.