Trojans Fall Short of Comeback at RV Thomas More
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – Taylor suffered its first loss of the young season on Friday night at RV Thomas More (1-0), trimming a 17-point deficit down to six but coming up on the wrong side of a 65-59 affair.
The defensive struggle went in favor of the hosts early, as last year’s top-rated defensive team in NAIA Division I, held TU to 11 points over the first 10:24 of game action to open a 25-11 gap. The Trojans were ice cold from the floor in that time, shooting four-of-16 and seeing the host Saints use a 16-3 burst to take the 14-point cushion.
Taylor narrowed the margin to 31-24 but TMU closed the half with an 8-0 stretch over the final two minutes to push the margin to 39-24 at the break.
The lead grew to a game-high 17 points in the opening moments of the second half and stayed comfortably in double figures until back-to-back layups from Kaden Fuhrmann and Gavin Yoon brought Taylor within 10 and a catch-and-shoot triple from Fuhrmann cut it to 52-43 midway through the final stanza.
Three-straight buckets from CJ Penha allowed Taylor to inch even closer, slicing the Thomas More lead to 61-54 with less than three minutes to play and a trio of free throws from Vincent Miranda made it 65-59 with 28 ticks to go.
Taylor had back-to-back chances to draw within a single possession as the clock rolled down, but both trey attempts were off-target and TU could not complete the comeback.
TU outscored Thomas More, 35-26, in the final half, holding a seven-point edge over the Saints at the charity stripe in that time and limiting TMU to just one three-point make over the last 20 minutes of action.
Taylor was also plus-10 in second-chance points in the contest but shot only 42.3 percent from the field and four-of-15 from deep against the stingy TMU defense.
Penha led the way for TU, posting a 17-point, 10-rebound, two-block double-double, while Jason Hubbard added 15 points and five boards. Miranda joined the duo in double figures with 11 points and Fuhrmann added seven.
Taylor (1-1) will return home to host Governors State (2-1) on Saturday night at 7:00 pm.