Taylor (Ind.) upends No. 5 Marian (Ind.) on road

Taylor (Ind.) upends No. 5 Marian (Ind.) on road

INDIANAPOLIS – Playing its fifth nationally-ranked opponent in nine games to open the season, Taylor put together its finest showing of the year to score an 80-71 upset at No. 5 Marian on Tuesday evening.


The Trojans excelled on both ends of the court to snap a five-game skid at MU, while taking their first victory over a top-five opponent since winning at No. 3 Davenport on November 14, 2016.


The TU defense stole the show however, holding the second-ranked offense in NAIA Division II below 92 points for the first time this season. Marian (8-1, 0-1 CL) entered play averaging 99.5 points and leading the nation by shooting 48.8 percent from three-point range but could manage only 71 points on a 33.3-percent clip from beyond the arc. Taylor beat the Knights on the glass as well, holding an 11-board edge over the nation’s fourth-rated rebounding team.


Taylor also turned in one of its best shooting efforts of the season, knocking down 50.0 percent of its looks for the game, while hitting eight-of-21 attempts from deep and 18-of-21 free throws. TU pushed its percentage to 54.2 over the final 20 minutes, while hitting 11-of-15 tries from two-point range in the final stanza.


MU tried to run away early in the contest, opening with leads of 8-2 and 13-7, but a momentum swinging, 13-0, stretch from the Purple and Gold put TU on top by a 22-13 margin. CJ Penha and Evan Crowe fueled the run by teaming for three-straight triples.


The Knights roared back to draw within two points late in the period, but Jason Hubbard and Emmanuel Boateng answered with hoops of their own to reclaim a six-point cushion that TU eventually took to the break.


Another quick start from the hosts turned Taylor’s 38-32 halftime edge into a three-point deficit at 47-44 and the teams traded shots until another extended rally from the Trojans swung the game back in their favor.


Nine-straight points opened a 67-56 lead for the Trojans with 4:37 to play and TU made it stick, not letting MU any closer than six for the rest of the way.


Ryan Robinson closed with 16 points and six assists, while James McCloud added 14 points and nine rebounds and Hubbard had 10 points, eight boards and two blocks. McCloud and Hubbard carried TU in the final period, combining for 18 points and 13 rebounds over the final 20 minutes.


Penha did the heavy lifting in the first half, providing a spark with each of his nine points and five rebounds in the opening period and Crowe finished with 11 points for the game on four-of-five shooting.


Taylor (3-6, 1-1 CL) will return home to host No. 23 Spring Arbor (10-1, 2-0 CL) on Saturday. The teams are slated to tip at 3:00 pm inside Odle Arena, following the conclusion of the 1:00 pm women’s game.

Championship Information

NAIA DII Men's Basketball Championship

March 11-17, 2020
Sioux Falls, S.D.