Senior Duo Leads Trojans in Rout of Madonna


UPLAND, Ind. – Career games from Kiara Nieto and Madisyn Fischer paved the way to a 95-59 victory for Taylor against Madonna on Monday evening. The seniors combined for 35 points on 12-of-19 shooting in the blow out win.


The Trojans were challenged early but took the game over with a strong defensive showing in the second quarter. After a hoop from Madonna (0-2) opened the period, Taylor held the Crusaders scoreless over the next 7:25 of game action and used a 20-0 burst during that stretch to flip a 23-20 deficit into a commanding 40-23 advantage.


Madonna was limited to just three-of-15 shooting during the decisive second quarter and was forced into nine turnovers against the pressing TU defensive attack.


A pair of long balls from Kayla Kirtley and Merideth Deckard opened the scoring in the 20-0 stretch, before six-straight points from Fischer. Taylor then got triples from freshmen Taylor Westgate and Ava Henson, before three free throws from Taylor Browning capped the rally.


The 42-28 halftime lead was never threatened after the break, as the Trojans came out firing in the third, sinking nine-of-15 looks from the field to extend the spread to 25 and continued pouring it on throughout the final frame on the way to the 36-point final.


Nieto posted the best game of her collegiate career with personal-bests of 16 points and eight rebounds, while also hitting the first two treys of her career and adding two assists. Fisher also set new career-highs with 19 points and three blocks, while adding six rebounds, three assists and three steals.


Lauren James joined the seniors in double figure with 15 points with four more makes from beyond the arc in only eight looks and also dished out six assists, while Deckard finished with five assists and four steals to go with eight points.


The Taylor reserves saw plenty of time as well, with four players scoring at least seven points off the bench. Westgate led that group with eight points, nine rebounds and two steals, with Henson also netting eight points. Browning scored seven points and Gretchen Moll had seven and picked up two steals.


Taylor (2-1) is set to return to the court over the weekend, when it plays Asbury (1-1) on Friday and No. 13 Clarke (0-0) on Saturday at the Indiana Wesleyan Tournament.