Hubbard Nets 28 in Upset Bid Against No. 10 Marian
UPLAND, Ind. – Led by another standout effort from Jason Hubbard, the Taylor men’s basketball team flirted with upsetting No. 10 Marian on Monday evening before the Knights erased a 10-point second-half deficit and escaped with an 80-73 win.
The contest featured 17 lead changes and five ties and did not see either side lead by more than two possessions until nearly two minutes into the second half.
An 8-0 burst from the Trojans late into the opening stanza opened a 33-28 lead for the hosts, and a deep triple from Vincent Miranda to close the first-half scoring sent TU to the break with a 39-37 lead over Marian (7-1, 3-1 CL).
Back-to-back hoops from James McCloud and a trey from CJ Penha opened a 46-39 lead for Taylor at the 18:07 mark of the final half, and hoops from McCloud and Hubbard pushed the spread to 52-43 with 15:44 showing.
Another McCloud bucket gave Taylor a 58-48 lead with 12:32 left in the affair, capping a 19-11 start to the final half for the Purple and Gold and forcing a timeout from the visiting Knights.
Marian made the most of the stoppage, rattling in a pair of deep balls out of the break to narrow the margin to 58-54 and sparking a string of eight-unanswered points that eventually ballooned into a 20-4 game-changing rally.
Hubbard snapped the 8-0 skid with a hoop in the paint, before Marian scored the next five points to continue its run and take its first lead of the period. Penha put TU back on top by dropping in a turnaround baseline jumper for a 62-61 lead at the 7:26 point but those were the only two field goals for Taylor during a game-changing, 20-4, stretch from the Knights that flipped the 10-point TU lead into a 68-62 deficit.
Another three-ball from Miranda kept Taylor within a single possession moments later, but MU controlled the glass and knocked in a string of free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
Those two areas loomed large throughout the contest, as Taylor shot the ball in at a 53.7-percent rate from the field on the night and held Marian to a 40.0-percent clip. The Knights overcame the shooting disparities by yanking down 16 offensive rebounds, beating TU on the glass by eight overall and going 19-of-20 from the charity stripe to outscore Taylor by 11 in that area.
Taylor was led once again by another impressive game from Hubbard, who matched a career-high with 11 field goals and ended the night at 28 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The CL Player of the Week continued his hot streak, posting a fifth-straight 20-point game and averaging 23.4 points and 9.8 rebounds during that stretch.
Miranda followed Hubbard with 16 points, with McCloud matching a season-high of 12 points to go with three assists. Penha also finished with 12 points, as those four players combined for 68 of TU’s 73 points in the contest.
Taylor (8-6, 2-4 CL) will look to get back in the win column on Wednesday, when it is scheduled to play at RV Bethel (12-2, 4-1 CL) in a 7:00 pm start.