Trojans Ride Career Night from Robinson to Win
UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor withstood a rocky start and got a lift off the bench from Ryan Robinson to improve to 20-3 in non-league contests inside Odle Arena under Josh Andrews with a 95-79 win over Indiana Kokomo on Tuesday night.
The visiting Cougars (1-3) drilled their first seven looks from deep to open the game and bolted to a 36-26 lead midway through the opening half but would only connect on two-of-15 looks from the perimeter the rest of the way.
Robinson helped TU keep pace early, while James McCloud provided a defensive spark to slow the early IUK onslaught. The play of the two reserves fueled a 21-9 surge to the intermission from the Trojans and sent TU to the break with a 47-45 lead.
The two-point halftime cushion came despite an uncharacteristic 10 turnovers from TU in the opening 20 minutes and a blistering offensive start from the Cougars. Robinson stole the show however, netting 18 points and two assists in the opening 20 minutes and the Trojans shot 13-of-17 from inside the arc to battle back.
Taylor scored in bunches in the second half, leading for the duration despite a relentless pace from IU Kokomo. Evan Crowe opened the half with seven-straight points and back-to-back triples from Keaton Hendricks and Vincent Miranda countered a Cougar spurt for a 62-55 lead.
After the margin had slipped to 67-65 with 9:21 to play, Degenkolb buried a trifecta and McCloud soared for an offensive rebound and put back to reclaim a seven-point spread.
Taylor finally pulled away for good with a lightning quick, 12-0, spurt that was highlighted by three-straight long-range daggers from Crowe, Hendricks and Crowe. When the dust had settled, the Trojans held a 94-76 lead with 1:45 to play and were on their way to the hard-fought, 16-point win.
TU turned in a better all-around performance in the second stanza to establish control. TU committed only six turnovers after the break, held a 25-20 edge on the glass and limited the guests to only two makes from downtown and just 34 points over the final 20 minutes.
The Trojans countered by sinking eight-of-16 looks from three-point range after the intermission and rode a sizeable, 38-16, advantage in bench scoring for the game.
Robinson led the way with a career-high 23 points and dished out six assists to go with four rebounds off the bench. McCloud also came off the bench for seven boards and one block, with Boateng adding eight points, seven rebounds and one block.
Degenkolb paced the starters with 15 points, with Crowe and Hendricks each scoring 14 and Jake Heggeland closing with eight points and eight rebounds.
No. 15 Taylor (4-0) will return to action on Friday at 7:00 pm, when it hosts Governors State (2-2) on Paul Patterson Court.