In their NAIA Tournament opener on Wednesday afternoon, the Taylor Trojans survived a strong Union College squad, advancing to the Round of 16 with a 68-66 overtime triumph on Wednesday.
With the win, the Trojans secured back-to-back 30-win seasons.
The fourth quarter featured three ties and three lead changes, and with under five minutes to go in regulation, the Trojans trailed by three. Taylor used a 6-1 run to take a two-point lead, but Union scored the game-tying basket to force overtime.
Merideth Deckard came through in the clutch in the final five minutes, sinking the go-ahead bucket with 1:08 left in overtime. Moments later, the sophomore hit a jumper to extend Taylor’s lead to four points with 22 seconds remaining, and after a Union three-pointer, Abby Buchs hit a free throw to help Taylor secure the victory.
Buchs scored 25 points on 57.1 percent shooting, 15 of which came in the second half. Jamie Netzley scored all 12 of her points in the final three quarters to go along with four assists and three steals, while Becca Buchs scored 12 points on four triples.