West Notches First-Career Double-Double as Trojans Win on the Road

 

SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The Taylor women’s basketball leaned on its starting five yet again, as the Trojans secured a significant win at Spring Arbor (14-7, 4-7 CL) Saturday afternoon by a final score of 60-56.

 

Four of Taylor’s five starters combined for 55 of TU’s 60 total points in Saturday’s win, though Claycee West offered a highlight performance of 17 points and 10 rebounds resulting in her first-career double-double.

 

Taylor (12-9, 5-6 CL) and Spring Arbor entered Saturday’s competition locked at 4-6 in the Crossroads League standings. With their latest win in stow, the Trojans moved into fifth place in the league standings, leaving the Cougars behind in seventh.

 

Alongside, West and her team-high 17 points, Ariel Dale and Ava Henson each contributed 13 while Taylor Westgate added 12 more.

 

Westgate sparked the Trojan offense early, as she scored TU’s first six points of the game. Dale and Henson subsequently ripped off seven straight to cap a 9-0 Taylor run with under five minutes remaining in the opening frame.

 

West then scored eight-straight points for the Trojans to end the quarter leading 21-14. As a team, Taylor shot 52.9 percent from the floor while holding the Cougars to just 5-18 shooting in the first 10 minutes of play.

 

Spring Arbor responded by scoring the first seven points of the second quarter, which evened the score at 21 apiece. An Ariel Dale three snapped the 7-0 Cougar run, however, which then sparked a 7-0 Taylor run of its own. Though, the Trojans could not quite pull away as a Cougar bucket at the buzzer capped a five-point burst to close the half with the score reading 28-26, with Taylor holding the slight edge.

 

By the end of the half, the Trojan defense held the Cougars to just 28.6-percent shooting on 35 shots taken, but seven TU turnovers cultivated 10 SAU points on the other end to keep the Cougars in the game. Westgate and West combined for 18 of Taylor’s 28 first-half points, while West scratched an additional six rebounds into the scorebook.

 

After Spring Arbor notched the first bucket of the second half, Taylor answered with a 6-0 run to force the Cougars’ first timeout of the frame. Outside of the timeout, the hosts scored back-to-back baskets, before Dale hit her third three of the day to make it a 37-32 game. That five-point Trojan lead then increased to a six-point edge as time ran out in the third quarter.

 

Heading into the fourth frame, a quartet of Trojans had scored eight or more points, though West led the way with 12. Dale soon matched West at a dozen points, however, as the lefty guard drilled her fourth three-point basket of the game to give Taylor a 44-35 lead with nine minutes remaining.

 

By the six-minute mark, though, Spring Arbor had drawn within five as Taylor took its first timeout of the game. With just over two minutes to play, Spring Arbor had made it a one-possession game, forcing Taylor’s second timeout in a matter of minutes as the Trojan lead dwindled to three.

 

Soon after, however, West hit her first three of the game, boosting her point total to 17 and the Trojan lead to six. Taylor extended its lead back to nine with one minute to play, at which point the foul-and-free-throw game commenced resulting in an eventual 60-56 win for the Trojans.

 

Alongside her first-career double-double, West added four steals while Henson and Maycee Woods each notched two of their own. Henson finished with 13 points, four of which came at the free-throw line in crunch time. Dale, meanwhile, founded her 13 points on four made three-pointers.

 

Taylor (12-9, 5-6 CL) will now prepare for a pair of home games this upcoming week, the first of which is slated for Wednesday evening, January 25, at 7:00 pm against Goshen (6-15, 1-10 CL).