RV Trojans Drop Tight Contest at No. 2 Saint Xavier
CHICAGO – After trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half, the Taylor women’s basketball team pulled to within two late in the third quarter and within four in the final two minutes of the game, but No. 2 Saint Xavier held off TU’s second-half surge to hand the Trojans the 69-63 defeat on the road on Saturday afternoon.
The host Cougars (3-0) jumped out to a quick 12-4 lead after just over four minutes of action and held a 23-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
TU opened the second period with a three-pointer from Lauren James to cut the lead back to seven points, but SXU would push the lead to as high as 14 points and led the Trojans, 41-30, at halftime.
Taylor would not go away, though, as back-to-back triples from Abby Buchs and Kendall Bradbury brought the Trojans to within seven, 46-39, with 4:53 remaining in the third stanza.
The Cougars led 50-41 at the 3:05 mark of the third, but TU netted seven-straight points to slice Saint Xavier’s lead to a mere two points, 50-48, with less than a minute to go until the fourth quarter.
Over the final minute of the third quarter and the first 2:21 of the fourth, SXU rattled off 10 unanswered points to take a 60-48 lead with 7:39 left in the game.
TU responded with six-straight points via free throws by Bradbury and Cassidy Wyse to pull the Trojans to within six points, 60-54, with 5:23 remaining in the contest.
Bradbury’s deuce at the 2:02 mark made it a 65-61 score, in favor of the hosts, but the Trojans would not convert another field goal the rest of the contest, and second-ranked Saint Xavier iced the game at the free-throw line for the 69-63 final score.
Taylor converted just 29.7 percent (22-of-74) of its shots from the floor, while SXU was able to connect on 38.9 percent (28-of-72) of its field-goal attempts. The Trojans dominated Saint Xavier on the glass, holding a 54-40 rebounding advantage overall and 21-9 on the offensive end alone. TU also shared the ball well, assisting on 17 of its 22 made shots, with Sydney Huffman’s five helpers leading the way.
Bradbury paced the Trojans with her fifth-straight double-double of the season, scoring 25 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. Wyse was one board shy of a double-double, with 10 points and nine rebounds on the night, while Buchs chipped in eight points, five rebounds and three assists.
RV Taylor (2-3) will return to action on Monday with another stiff road test, as the Trojans travel to Joliet, Illinois, to take on No. 5 Saint Francis (1-2) at 7:00 pm.