UPLAND, Ind. – Jake Heggeland sent the silent Odle Arena crowd into a frenzy with a free throw for TU’s 10th point at the 16:01 mark and the Trojans improved to 21-0 all-time on Silent Night with a 97-84 win over Great Lakes Christian in front of a capacity crowd on Friday evening.
Heggeland became the third player on Taylor’s current roster to break the silence, joining Keaton Hendricks (2014) and Evan Crowe (2015, 2016) in accomplishing the feat.
Taylor led for all but 16 seconds in the contest but saw a 10-point halftime lead whittled down to one with 16:58 to play in the second half. Mason Degenkolb netted the next six points for the Trojans to push the gap back to seven and a 9-0 spurt fueled by Heggeland and Ryan Robinson later opened a 63-51 spread.
Another Robinson hoop at the 8:48 mark pushed the lead back into double figures, where it would remain for the duration of the game and a late 11-0 stretch doubled TU’s lead to a game-high 22 points with 70 seconds remaining.
Taylor shot 62.5 percent from the field in the contest, making 30-of-38 attempts inside the arc and powering past the Lakes with 54 points in the paint and a 39-21 edge on the glass.
Degenkolb poured in 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while Heggeland ended with 23 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals to go with the 10th point. Robinson followed with 16 points and Crowe closed with 12 points, as the four players combined for 81 of TU’s 97 points.
The 97-point output was Taylor’s sixth-straight effort with at least 90 points on Silent Night and gave TU seven outings with at least 90 points in 12 games to open the 2017-2018 campaign.
No. 12 Taylor (9-3) will return to action on December 15 and 16 at the Lindsey Wilson Christmas Classic. TU will take on NAIA Division I No. 21 Campbellsville (11-1) and NAIA Division I No. 9 Lindsey Wilson (11-0) in the weekend tournament.