On Saturday evening against the defending national champions, the Taylor Trojans’ remarkable season came to an end, as they were defeated by the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers, 75-62.
DWU came out firing from the start, knocking down their first six shots to grab an early 14-2 lead. The Tigers dominated the first stanza, hitting 10 of their 15 shots to take a 25-4 lead in to the second quarter.
The Trojans, on the other hand, struggled mightily on the offensive end, shooting just 16.7 percent while turning the ball over six times.
After regaining their composure in the second quarter, Lacey Garrett led the Trojan offense in the third frame, scoring seven points in the first four and a half minutes. The Trojans, as a whole, shot well, converting nine of their 15 field goal attempts in the frame.
The Trojans made one final push, cutting the Tigers’ lead down to 10 with seven minutes remaining in the contest, but DWU used an 8-0 run to increase their lead back to 18 points, ultimately securing the victory.
Taylor battled from start to finish, but had a tough night from beyond the arc, shooting just 22.2 percent from three-point range.
Becca Buchs led the Trojans with 17 points, while Kendall Bradbury scored 13 and Lacey Garrett added 12.
Saturday’s loss marked the final collegiate games for Bradbury, Garrett, and Aubrey Wright. The trio played a huge role in TU’s historic campaign, which included 30 wins and a 22-game win streak, both program records. Along with that, the group helped Taylor earn their first trip to the NAIA National Tournament Round of 8 since 2007, win their first Crossroads League championship since 1996, and come away with their first Crossroads League Tournament title since 1998.
Furthermore, the Trojans recorded a team-record 376 three-pointers, while also taking down a program-record 10 teams ranked in the NAIA Top-25.
Bradbury, who will go down as one of the best to ever play the game of basketball in Grant County, ended her storied career as the all-time leading scorer for both Taylor University and the Crossroads League with 2,850 points.