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Men’s and women’s basketball dominate Miami Middletown

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Taylor University basketball teams hosted the University of Miami Middletown and sent their men’s and women’s teams emphatically.

On the women’s side, it was an unforgettable night as the Trojans beat Miami Middletown 116-39, their biggest margin of victory since 2001.

The score came early, often and widely for the Trojans, as TU outscored Miami-Middletown 30-9 in the first quarter. Junior center Gretchen Moll led the way with six points, closely followed by Lauren James with five while three other Trojans contributed four points en route to a 21-point lead over Taylor.

It was important that we were strong, Moll said. This is something our coach pointed out.

That lead only increased in the second quarter, as the Trojans scored 29 more points compared to a mere three-point quarterback for the Thunderhawks. Taylor was off in defense, relentless in his pressure that drove Miami-Middletown 0-14 from the floor. Sophomore Taylor Westgate scored seven points in this spell, to put the Trojans in control.

We’ve been struggling to start strong lately, Westgate said. So working on that will help us in the future with tough games against conference teams around the corner.

Taylor entered the half-time 59-12, preventing the opponent from scoring a single bucket in the paint. Moll opened up about what coach Jody Martinez said at halftime.

He insisted on doing layups because we were doing everything else well, but constantly doing layups, Moll said.

Taylor ran away with the score in the second half of the game, as they extended their lead to seventy-seven points, however, it was an unforgettable night for Moll and Westgate as they both had evenings career, with 10 boards and 16 points, and 14 points and 16 rebounds respectively.

Gretchen and Taylor are our only 2-position players (5 players), Martinez said. They create a solid indoor-outdoor game for us to be competitive. They both push each other in practice and get better every day.

The women’s squad has been injury prone with the main factor being that only two of the 39 training sessions so far have been done with the whole squad, but the victory will be a confidence booster as the Trojans (4- 4) will look to continue their momentum in their Crossroads League opener at Huntington (2-3) on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m.

The men’s game was more of a rambling affair, with the Trojans pulling out in the second half and beating Miami Middletown 76-65.

Taylor started off with a moan as they were outnumbered by the Middletowners at the start of the game as they battled the physical team.

The Trojans found themselves on the wrong side of a 14-point gap as they struggled to find their way without senior Jason Hubbard against MUM’s extremely physical defense.

At halftime we prayed because we all felt like we were, not like ourselves, said junior forward Jeff Clayton. So we prayed that fear would come out of us and that whatever was holding us back would be released.

After shooting 32.3% in the first half and attempting just four free throws, Taylor shifted gears after the break and started actively attacking the paint and making fouls. The result was a 51.9% field goal rate over the past 20 minutes and a 15 out of 20 performance from the charity strip.

Clayton blocked a dunk in the second half which delighted the crowd and signaled a change in the course of the game.

We were kind of low on energy, and I know those simple games can change the crowd and rock them, Clayton said. And that makes us vibrate and makes us play better.

Second-year guard Kaden Fuhrmann sparked the second-half charge, scoring 16 points in a Trojan rally that saved the game and erased the 14-point deficit and gave them the well-deserved lead .

Taylor ended up dominating the guests by a 48-27 lead in the second half. Fuhrmann is enjoying a career night, leading all players with a career-high 26 points, already scoring his second game by at least 25 points this season and crushing four triples for a third straight outing. The Liberty Township, Ohio native also set a personal best scoring 10 of 10 from the free throw line and added five rebounds, three assists and one steal.

My teammates did a great job putting the ball where I wanted it, and then I was able to convert more of those shots. said Fuhrmann. I think it was a good overall team performance. I think we all fought against the adversity of being at 14, we came back and were able to take the victory.


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