No. 9 Taylor Holds Off No. 13 Saint Francis to Remain Undefeated
UPLAND, Ind. – The ninth-ranked Taylor women’s basketball squad never trailed on Wednesday, defeating the No. 13 Saint Francis Cougars by a final score of 68-56. Five Trojans reached double figures on the night, as each player stepped up at different times throughout the contest.
With the 12-point win, TU (17-0, 5-0 CL) notched its second top-15 victory of the season, while improving its regular season winning streak to 34 and Crossroads League stretch to 24 games.
Becca Buchs and Sydney Huffman shared the burden in the first quarter, pouring in five points apiece. The team built a double-digit edge over USF (12-4, 3-2 CL) off of an eight-point rally in a three-minute stretch. TU proved its strength on defense, holding the Cougars to one-of-seven shooting from three-point range with four turnovers in the opening 10 minutes.
The Purple and Gold went five-for-11 from the field in the second quarter, as five different Trojans knocked down a field goal. The period passed by evenly as both squads compiled, five field goals, three free throws, nine rebounds, two steals, three assists and four fouls.
Jamie Netzley began the third stanza with the first six points for Taylor, contributing over half of the team’s points in a rough offensive quarter. The senior guard netted a career-high 14 points in the game, while also offering four steals and four rebounds.
Saint Francis continued to chip away at its deficit, pulling to within one at 45-44 with six minutes to go in the contest. Abby Buchs responded with a bucket plus a free throw to immediately boost the lead back to four. With just under four minutes remaining, Huffman nailed a trey to extend the TU advantage to seven, before the Trojans sank its free throws in the final minutes for the 68-56 finish.
Abby Buchs and Madisyn Fischer led the offense in the last 10 minutes of action, combining for 16 points and a perfect eight foul shots. Buchs came alive in the fourth quarter, recording nine of her 14 points in the period. The 5-11 guard also made an impact on the boards and on defense, grabbing a team-high nine rebounds and three steals, while playing all 40 minutes of the competition. After collecting seven points in the fourth, Fischer posted her sixth double-digit effort with 13 points and a career-high two blocks on Wednesday.
Scoring in each quarter of the contest, Becca Buchs paced the team with 15 points and two treys for her 15th contest with multiple three-point field goals. Huffman rounded out the double digit scorers for the night with 10 points, while adding four assists to lead TU.
The Trojans have been dominant at home, winning their last 21 games in Odle Arena. The TU squad will look to continue that trend on Saturday, battling RV Mount Vernon Nazarene (13-4, 3-2 CL) at 1:00 pm.