In an incredible contest between two longtime Grant County rivals on Wednesday, the No. 11 ranked Taylor Trojans came out on top, surviving 10 lead changes in the fourth quarter to come away with a 72-70 victory over the No. 16 IWU Wildcats.
The Trojans got off to a great start offensively, making nine of their 14 shots from the perimeter to take a 10-point lead over the Wildcats. The Wildcats countered with an 8-0 run, as freshman Margot Woughter knocked down two free throws, while Dayton Groninger and Carly Lange followed with back-to-back triples.
Taylor went on to shoot 52 percent in the first half, taking a 39-32 lead at the intermission. IWU was equally as effective on offense, shooting 43 percent.
With the game tied at 61-61 with four minutes to go, the action picked up significantly. Both teams traded baskets until the 2:30 mark, when the Wildcats pulled ahead by one point. Taylor’s Becca Buchs hit two free throws a short time later to help the Trojans regain the lead with 90 seconds left.
After Woughter knocked down a three with four seconds left to give IWU a 70-68 advantage, Buchs returned to the charity stripe, knocking down two more shots to tie the contest at 70-70.
As the final seconds ticked away, Kendall Bradbury, who played excellent basketball all evening long, stole an inbounds pass and was fouled. The junior made no mistake, draining both shots to help the Trojans steal a two-point victory at Luckey Arena, their sixth straight over a ranked opponent.
Bradbury led the Trojans in scoring with 32 points, while Becca Buchs scored 20 points on four treys and eight free throws. Abby Buchs collected 14 points and six rebounds.
As a team, the Trojans shot well from the foul line, knocking down 16 of their 18 attempts, good for 88.9 percent.
Woughter and Lange each scored 14 points to lead the Wildcats, while Groninger contributed 10 points off the bench.