|Taylor (Ind.) 21-12||37||35||72|
|Trinity International (Il 30-5||22||52||74|
|Mar. 10, 2017|
|Pt. Lookout, MO|
|Taylor (Ind.)||Indv. Leaders||Trinity International (Il|
|#25 Jake Heggeland - 23||Points||#4 Luke Mead - 18|
|#35 Keaton Hendricks - 8||Rebounds||#33 Zach Kirschbaum - 14|
|2 Players (#11,#35) - 2||Assists||#3 Greg Carlyle - 2|
|Taylor (Ind.)||Team Statistics||Trinity International (Il|
|45.8% (27 - 59)||Field Goals %||38.4% (28 - 73)|
|38.1% (8 - 21)||3 Point Field Goals %||32.4% (11 - 34)|
|52.6% (10 - 19)||Free Throws||43.8% (7 - 16)|
|13||2nd Chance Pts||16|
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – Taylor's memorable season came to an end on Friday night inside Keeter Gymnasium, as No. 11 and third-seeded Trinity International scored with two seconds left to hand TU a 74-72 setback in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NAIA National Championship Tournament.
Taylor (21-12) used a hot start for the second time in as many games in Point Lookout, fueled by four early baskets from Jake Heggeland to take a 15-7 lead. TU continued pouring it on in the opening stanza, pushing the gap to double figures with six-straight points from Evan Crowe and getting back-to-back triples from Ryan Robinson and Eric Cellier to open a 37-19 cushion with 4:25 to play before the half.
TU did not score for the duration of the period but took a 37-22 lead to the break on the strength of 10 points from Heggeland and a five-of-12 showing from beyond the arc as a team. The Trojans turned in another outstanding defensive effort in the first half as well, limiting the quick-hitting TIU offense to two-of-16 shooting from the perimeter and forcing eight turnovers.
Those numbers took a drastic turn out of the break, as Trinity International (30-5) only committed one miscue over the final 20 minutes and stormed back by locking in for nine makes from deep in its first 12 looks out of the intermission.
The three-point barrage gave TIU its first lead of the night at the 11:45 mark and pushed the favored Trojans to a 65-58 lead with 7:30 remaining on the clock. After managing only 22 points and two treys in the first 21:10 of game action, Trinity International erupted for 43 points and nine triples over the ensuing 11:20 to flip the game in its favor.
Taylor withstood the blistering rally and countered with a 9-3 run to draw within a single point on a free throw from Keaton Hendricks with 4:22 showing on the clock. Another hoop in the paint from Heggeland was followed by a game-tying three-ball from Hendricks to lock the score at 72-72 with 90 seconds to play.
TU could not finish off the upset however, as TIU knocked down the game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds left to end Taylor's season.
Taylor held a 46-40 edge on the glass and a 37-26 advantage in the paint but made only 10-of-19 free throws and saw TIU convert 19 TU turnovers into 25 points on the other end.
Heggeland finished with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting and yanked down six rebounds in the contest to pace Taylor. Crowe and Hendricks finished with 10 points, with Tim Fleming and Eric Cellier adding eight.
The game brought a close to the collegiate careers of TU's two seniors, Eric Cellier and Lane Vander Hulst, as the duo helped Taylor to increased win totals in each of the past three seasons, the program's first 20-win season since 2012-2013, its first appearance at NAIA Nationals since 2005-2006 and the fifth trip to the Sweet 16 in program history.
Taylor is set to return all five starters and 11-of-13 lettermen, including its top-five scorers for the 2017-2018 season.