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Trojans Off Target in Return at Huntington

 

HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Taylor men’s basketball team returned to the court after a two-week pause on Wednesday and struggled to find the range in a 74-63 loss at Huntington that saw the Trojans shoot 35.9 percent from the field.

 

Both teams started slow, as a three from CJ Penha 4:20 into the contest gave the Trojans a 3-2 lead. That would be TU’s only triple of the half until Jason Hubbard closed the stanza from deep.

 

The two-of-18 showing from beyond the arc for TU in the first half led to a 30.0-percent clip from the field overall and put the Purple and Gold in a 29-22 deficit at the break.

 

The tandem of Hubbard and Penha kept the Trojans afloat, combining for 20 of TU’s 22 points on nine-of-16 shooting. The rest of the squad struggled mightily, going without a made field goal in 14 tries in that time, with 13 misses from three-point range.

 

The offense briefly came to life early into the second half, as back-to-back triples from Penha and Vincent Miranda followed a dunk from Hubbard to narrow the margin to a single point. Another trey from Miranda put Taylor in front and a bucket down low from James McCloud capped a 17-4 surge and gave TU a 40-36 lead.

 

Huntington (12-5, 5-4 CL) responded in a decisive manner, scoring the next eight points and eventually rattling off 24 of the game’s next 29 points as the Taylor attack went quiet once again.

 

The 60-45 Forester lead was narrowed to eight with 3:52 remaining, but the hosts again answered the challenge and pushed the spread back to 13 on the way to the 74-63 victory.

 

Taylor ended the contest eight-of-36 from deep for a 22.2-percent clip, while Huntington shot 63.0 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes to take control.

 

Hubbard led the way once again, reaching 20 points for a seventh-straight game and ending with 22 points on eight-of-12 shooting from inside the arc. Hubbard added five rebounds, three assists and three steals and pulled to within 11 points of becoming the 44th player in TU program history to score 1,000-career points.

 

Penha followed with 15 points and five rebounds, with McCloud pulling down seven rebounds and Miranda dishing out six assists.

 

Taylor (8-8, 2-6 CL) will look to bounce back with a rematch against the Foresters on Saturday at 3:00 pm inside Odle Arena.