No. 5 Taylor Tops Goshen on the Road
GOSHEN, Ind. – For the 19th-straight time this season, the fifth-ranked Trojans came out victorious, defeating Goshen, 76-67. In the road matchup, TU knocked down 20 free throws in a row on the way to its 36th-consecutive regular season win.
Kayla Kirtley put together a special performance on Wednesday, collecting a career-high and team-best 18 points. The majority of the sophomore’s work came in the second half with 15 points coming in the third and fourth quarters. Kirtley has been in a groove offensively, netting double figures in four of her last five outings.
The Purple and Gold (19-0, 7-0 CL) created separation in the second quarter, holding the Maple Leafs (7-12, 0-7 CL) to six points on 21.4 percent shooting from the planks. TU matched its defensive effort with 20 points, while going eight-for-eight from the charity stripe.
The Trojans missed their first free throw of the game but bounced back with 20-straight makes, touting an incredible 95.2 free throw percentage. The fantastic night from the line improved the team’s season average to 79.9 percent, moving them to 10th in the nation including all divisions of NAIA and NCAA women’s basketball squads.
The trio of Kirtley, Merideth Deckard and Madisyn Fischer dominated off the bench, tripling the production of the Goshen reserves, 36-10. Deckard and Fischer did not miss a shot on the night, as Deckard logged 10 points for her ninth double-digit effort of her sophomore campaign.
Following the second period outburst, Taylor refused to let go of the lead. The visiting Trojans never trailed for the rest of the contest, ballooning their lead to a game-high 17 points in the second half.
Becca Buchs finished second on the team with 15 points on Wednesday. Taylor’s record-holder for threes made in a single season went one-for-two from deep, extending her streak to 46-straight games with a made triple.
The fourth and final Trojan to reach double figures was Abby Buchs with 12 points and seven boards. The senior guard improved her career scoring mark to 970 points, closing in on becoming the 26th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
No. 5 TU will take on RV Indiana Wesleyan (14-5, 5-2 CL) in its next game, battling the Wildcats on Saturday at 1:00 pm in Marion, Indiana.