|Spring Arbor (Mich.) 18-13||33||42||75|
|Taylor (Ind.) 20-11||39||34||73|
|Feb. 22, 2017|
|Spring Arbor (Mich.)||Indv. Leaders||Taylor (Ind.)|
|#5 Zach Medendorp - 27||Points||#15 Mason Degenkolb - 16|
|#22 Thomas Starks - 11||Rebounds||#15 Mason Degenkolb - 5|
|#11 Paul Marandet - 6||Assists||#11 Tim Fleming - 6|
|Spring Arbor (Mich.)||Team Statistics||Taylor (Ind.)|
|50% (30 - 60)||Field Goals %||39% (23 - 59)|
|35.7% (5 - 14)||3 Point Field Goals %||32.1% (9 - 28)|
|71.4% (10 - 14)||Free Throws||81.8% (18 - 22)|
|4||2nd Chance Pts||0|
UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor and Spring Arbor locked up in an instant classic inside Odle Arena on Wednesday night in a Crossroads League Quarterfinal clash that offered 20 lead changes and 16 ties. SAU secured the final lead change with 1.9 seconds left and advanced with a 75-73 win.
The Trojans opened a 39-27 lead with 1:58 remaining in the opening half, but fifth-seeded Spring Arbor closed on a 6-0 spurt and then opened the final stanza with an 8-2 flurry in the first 1:56 to draw even at 41-41.
The Cougars (18-13) continued to control the action, building a 57-52 lead and maintaining the five-point edge at 64-59 with 6:33 showing on the clock.
The final five minutes offered eight lead changes and five ties, with the first coming after hoops from Mason Degenkolb and Ryan Robinson knotted the score at 64-64 with 4:43 to go. The teams continued trading shots with neither side taking a lead any larger than two the rest of the way.
Taylor claimed its final lead on a free throw from Vivian Aiken at the 1:44 mark and drew even on a Tim Fleming free throw with 15 ticks on the clock, but Zach Medendorp's 12th field goal of the night connected with 1.9 seconds remaining to give SAU the 75-73 win and a ticket into the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals on Saturday.
Medendorp was a force all night long, connecting on 12-of-19 shots for a game-high 27 points, while grabbing seven rebounds and swatting three shots in the paint.
The Trojans countered with 13 points each from Jake Heggeland and Keaton Hendricks, while Tim Fleming had nine points, six assists and a career-best four steals and Degenkolb netted 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Eric Cellier and Robinson each added eight points in the loss.
TU shot just 39.0 percent in the game, including a 29.6-percent clip in the second half. The Trojans buried their first four looks from deep, before cooling to a five-of-24 showing from beyond the arc the rest of the way.
The game marked the final contest on Paul Patterson Court for TU's seniors Lane Vander Hulst and Eric Cellier. The pair will now wait with the rest of the Trojans to learn if Taylor (20-11) will receive an at-large bid into the NAIA National Tournament.
The 26th-Annual NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship Tournament will be held at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri from March 8-14, with the 32-team field being announced on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:00 pm ET.