Despite a strong start, the Taylor Trojans could not complete their second straight upset, as the No. 17 Saint Francis Cougars rallied late for a 71-68 triumph Tuesday night.
The Trojans came out firing, racing out to a 22-8 lead and knocking down nine of their first 14 shots, including four-of-five looks from the perimeter.
The Cougars came roaring back, however, draining eight triples in the opening 20 minutes to eventually grab a 35-32 lead. Taylor was able to regain the advantage before halftime, leading 39-38 at the break.
Taylor finished five-of-nine from beyond the arc in the first half, while USF finished eight-of-15.
The Trojans were unable to maintain their lead until the 7:42 mark, but a 7-0 run from the Cougars gave them a 67-59 lead with three minutes remaining in the contest.
Ryan Robinson scored in the paint and Mason Degenkolb hit a trey to cut Saint Francis’ lead to 67-64, but the Cougars hit four straight free throws to pull away and eventually secure the victory.
Degenkolb led the Trojans with 23 points to go along with three assists, while Jason Hubbard finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, one steal, and one block. Robinson collected 14 points, while Vincent Miranda added six points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals.