Trojans Defeat Corban, Advance to Elite Eight
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Taylor utilized a superb third quarter to jump in front of No. 23 and sixth-seeded Corban and picked up a 76-68 victory. With the win, TU secured a spot in the Elite Eight of the NAIA Tournament for the second time in program history.
The Trojans kept their historic season alive on Friday, nabbing their 22nd-consecutive victory. The team posted its program record 30th win of the season with its 10th triumph over a ranked foe.
The second-best free throw shooting team in the nation put together a stellar performance at the line, going 29-of-32 from the charity stripe. TU sank 18 foul shots in the fourth quarter, holding off the Warriors and sealing the 76-68 win.
Taylor (30-4) and Corban (25-10) battled evenly through the first half. The largest lead of six points went to the Trojans but the Warriors managed to claim a one point advantage at halftime. TU was perfect from the free throw line, sinking nine foul shots in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Warriors claimed the second quarter, holding TU to two field goals on eight attempts.
TU responded in the third stanza, outscoring Corban by a 26-10 margin. The Trojan offense came alive with 10 field goals and four treys, including three-straight triples to extend the team’s advantage to a game-high 17 points.
Corban put together a comeback effort in the final period that featured a 56.3 field goal percentage for 29 points. On the other side, Kendall Bradbury added eight points in the final 10 minutes to ensure a Taylor victory.
Bradbury finished with her second double-double of the tournament, notching 27 points and 11 rebounds. The senior forward gained sole position of ninth in the NAIA all-time career scoring list on Friday. The Crossroads League Player of the Year also sank eight field goals on the night, marking her 1,000th career made field goal.
Abby Buchs played a major role in Friday’s win, scoring 23 points with 10 free throws. The Angola, Indiana native was TU’s top scorer in the first half, netting 11 points and two treys. Following Buchs in the scoring column was her twin, Becca Buchs, who contributed 15 points with all three of her made field goals coming from beyond the arc.
The TU squad will now take on No. 3 and top-seeded Dakota Wesleyan (29-5) on Saturday, March 9 at 7:00 pm (ET) for TU’s second appearance in the third round of the tournament.
The Taylor athletics department will hold another free watch party in Odle Arena for Saturday’s Elite Eight contest.