Westgate Shines, But Taylor Falls To No. 20 Indiana Wesleyan in CLT Semifinals
MARION, Ind. – Taylor’s quest for its fourth straight Crossroads League Tournament Championship berth came to an end against No. 20 Indiana Wesleyan, as the Wildcats used an early run and dominant third quarter to hand the Trojans an 85-64 defeat in the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals.
Despite the loss, freshman Taylor Westgate excelled throughout the contest. In 29 minutes of play, the Marion, Indiana native scored a team-high 19 points, three shy of her career-high, on nine-of-11 shooting while also collecting six rebounds and a pair of steals.
The host Wildcats scored the first eight points of the contest and held the Trojans scoreless until the 6:24 mark of the first quarter. Westgate provided a spark off the bench, scoring eight points to help trim the Wildcats’ lead to four with 1:16 remaining in the frame. A Lauren James basket at the 37-second mark made it a one-possession game, but a field goal for the Wildcats right before the buzzer pushed their advantage back up to four points.
The Wildcats continued to hold their lead throughout the second quarter, shooting seven-of-12 from the field to keep the Trojans at bay. Taylor was able to cut the deficit to five points on two separate occasions, but were unable to get any closer.
Indiana Wesleyan took control in the third quarter, shooting seven-of-10 from beyond the arc. The three-point barrage led to 29 Wildcat points, as Indiana Wesleyan took a 66-46 lead into the final frame.
The Trojans continued to battle, but were unable to recover from the Wildcats’ efficient third quarter, trailing by double digits the rest of the contest.
While the Trojans shot 46.6 percent from the field (27-of-58), they struggled from the perimeter, knocking down just seven of their 21 attempts (33.3 percent). Conversely, the Wildcats shot 58.8 percent from the field (30-of-51) and 58.6 percent from beyond the arc (17-of-29).
Meredith Deckard also finished in double figures, scoring 13 points on five-of-eight shooting, while Kayla Kirtley rounded out the Trojans’ double-digit scorers with 10 points.
The Trojans will now wait to see if they qualify for the NAIA National Tournament. The NAIA Selection Show will be held on Thursday, March 4 beginning at 7:00 pm.