|Rio Grande (Ohio) 0-1||26||27||53|
|Taylor (Ind.) 5-0||38||42||80|
|Nov. 8, 2016|
|Rio Grande (Ohio)||Indv. Leaders||Taylor (Ind.)|
|2 Players (#4,#34) - 9||Points||#15 Mason Degenkolb - 21|
|#4 Corey Cruse - 8||Rebounds||#53 Vivian Aiken - 10|
|4 Players - 1||Assists||#11 Tim Fleming - 3|
|Rio Grande (Ohio)||Team Statistics||Taylor (Ind.)|
|36.5% (19 - 52)||Field Goals %||46.6% (27 - 58)|
|8.3% (1 - 12)||3 Point Field Goals %||43.8% (7 - 16)|
|53.8% (14 - 26)||Free Throws||82.6% (19 - 23)|
|4||2nd Chance Pts||0|
UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor University men's basketball team moved to 5-0 with an 80-53 triumph over Rio Grande on Tuesday night inside Odle Arena, marking the program's best start since opening with seven-straight wins in 2005.
An early 9-0 spurt set the tone, as the Trojans took control with an 11-4 lead and never looked back on their way to the 27-point victory. Mason Degenkolb later answered URG's lone challenge, scoring nine points over the final 4:39 of the opening half to extend a six-point edge into a 38-26 halftime cushion.
Degenkolb stayed hot in the second half, netting two of TU's first three hoops after the break to push the spread to 16 and Taylor blew the game open during the final 10 minutes with a 24-5 run that spanned 7:15 of game action and opened up a 32-point gap with 2:41 left in the contest.
Taylor coasted from there, finishing off the win to move to 16-2 under Josh Andrews on its home court against non-league foes and matching the program's longest win streak since putting seven games in a row in the win column during the 2012-2013 campaign.
Both teams shot the ball under a 40-percent clip in the opening half but Taylor heated up to connect on 57.7 percent of its looks in the final stanza. TU shot 43.8 percent from deep but only attempted 16 three-pointers, instead opting to penetrate the Red Storm (0-1) defense for easy looks throughout the evening.
The Trojan defense turned in its best outing of the season, limiting Rio Grande to 53 points on 36.5-percent shooting, while forcing 21 turnovers. Taylor also did not allow a single Red Storm player to score in double figures.
Degenkolb ended with a game-high 21 points to go with a pair of steals, while Keaton Hendricks and Evan Crowe joined in double figures with 15 each. Lane Vander Hulst hit two key first-half threes and ended with six points off the bench, while Vivian Aiken yanked down 10 rebounds and scored six points.
Taylor (5-0) will return to action on Monday, November 14 for a 7:00 pm start at No. 3 Davenport (3-0). The game will be the first of five matchups in TU's next six outings against opponents ranked in the NAIA Top-25 or receiving votes in the preseason poll.