Dec. 23, 2009
Story courtesy of Taylor Sports Information
One day after it was announced that Taylor (Ind.) head coach Paul Patterson will be inducted into the Grant County Hall of Fame next spring, the NAIA Hall of Famer reached another major milestone Tuesday night (Dec. 22) when he coached his 1,000th game at the helm of the Trojans. Taylor celebrated with a win by defeating Cincinnati Christian University 79-59.
“The biggest blessing for me at Taylor is that I really have had good help,” Patterson said, reflecting on his latest milestone. “I’ve had a family that’s been very supportive, and we’ve had great assistant coaches that have believed in the same things I’ve believed in.”
Taylor improved to 9-6 on the season and Patterson picked up career win No. 676. Cincinnati Christian honored the legendary coach with a ceremony prior to the game.
The Trojans held a 35-30 lead at halftime, but responded with a 16-2 outburst to start the second half, ending any hopes of CCU playing the role of spoiler.
“Cincinnati Christian was a very dangerous matchup for us,” said Patterson, who has led Taylor to 14 NAIA National Tournament appearances. “They were very quick at every position and they posed some odd matchups. Our guys just really played hard. It was an ugly first half, but then we settled into our rhythm.”
For the second straight game, a Taylor freshman scored more than 30 points as Nate Kasper had a career-high 34 points, including 24 counters in the second half. In a 109-59 win over Ohio State Marion on Monday, Brock Woodward scored 32 points.
Woodward posted 10 points and eight rebounds against CCU. The stat line for freshman Casey Coons included 14 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Freshman Tommy Peller matched Woodward to lead Taylor with eight rebounds.
Taylor put together a performance that Patterson-coached teams have hung their hats on over the last 31 seasons by holding CCU to 33% shooting from the field and out-rebounding the Eagles by a margin of 42-24. The Trojans shot 57% from the field and made 10 of 13 free throw attempts.
“I think we’re still going to improve for a while,” Patterson said after the game. “This team is just beginning to understand the impact of Brock Woodward. He’s learning what we do after being out so long. We have to get more solid in our game, but I think the strength of this team is that they like each other and they love to play basketball.”
The Trojans are now idle until Dec. 29-30 when they return to the hardwood at the Porreco Cup hosted by Gannon University in Erie, Pa. Taylor will face NCAA Div. II Ferris State (Mich.) in the opening game on Dec. 29 at 6 p.m.