Trojans Suffer Double-Overtime Loss at UNOH
LIMA, Ohio – Taylor erased a seven-point deficit with 1:25 to play in regulation and again rallied from a five-point deficit in the first overtime, before finally running out of gas in a 96-86 double-overtime defeat at Northwestern Ohio on Wednesday afternoon.
The game was contested throughout, with no team leading by more than three points until Taylor scored seven-straight points for a 30-26 lead and took a 37-34 lead to the half, after battling through eight lead changes and four ties in the first stanza.
An early triple from Vincent Miranda and a bucket inside from Jake Heggeland opened a 42-35 lead for the Trojans early into the second period, but UNOH (8-8) ripped off the next 12 points and used an 18-4 surge to flip the lead to seven points in its favor.
The Racers held the lead until a Heggeland deuce drew TU even at 63-63 and a pull-up jumper from Mason Degenkolb pushed Taylor briefly back on top by a 65-64 margin with 3:59 left in regulation.
TU could not maintain the momentum however, turning the ball over on its next two touches and watching the hosts punch back with eight-straight points for a 72-65 lead with 1:25 to play.
Tim Fleming gave the Trojans hope with a three-ball to stop the UNOH run and picked off a steal on the next possession to set up a hoop from Degenkolb that trimmed the gap to two with 46 seconds showing on the clock.
A free throw put Northwestern Ohio up three with five seconds left, but the potential game-clinching free throw bounced long and Evan Crowe forced overtime by knocking down three free throws with three-tenths of a second to go, after being fouled on a desperation three attempt on the other end.
Another rally was needed from the Purple and Gold in the first overtime, after UNOH scored the first five points of the period for a 78-73 lead. Keaton Hendricks opened TU’s scoring in the extra session with a three-pointer and Degenkolb knotted the score at the charity stripe with 41 seconds to play to close the scoring and send the squads to a second overtime.
UNOH started hot once again, this time scoring the first eight points for an 86-78 lead and holding on for the 96-86 triumph.
Taylor shot 47.0 percent from the field, including a 59.1-percent rate in the second half and buried 11-of-28 attempts from downtown, while committing only 10 turnovers but struggled to keep UNOH off the glass.
The Racers pulled down 15 offensive rebounds and converted those extra chances into 23 points, while also holding a 20-13 edge from the free throw line.
Degenkolb ended with team-highs of 24 points and six assists in 44 minutes of work, while carrying the load for a TU backcourt depleted by an injury and foul trouble. The effort was Degenkolb’s 16th game with at least 20 points in 45 contests with Taylor and matched a career-high for assists.
Crowe followed with 16 points, while Heggeland finished with 13 points, 11 boards and three blocks for his fourth double-double in Taylor’s last four games. Fleming also cracked double figures with 10 points to match a season-high.
No. 24 Taylor (9-6) will be off until returning to action for its final non-league appearance of the regular season, when it travels to Concordia (6-8) for a 7:00 pm tip on December 29.