|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. – The Spring Arbor University men's basketball team dropped both regular season meetings to Taylor University but foiled the Trojans when it mattered most, advancing with a thrilling 75-73 victory in the first round of the Crossroads League Tournament on Wednesday night.
Junior Zach Medendorp dropped a game-high 27 points, including the game-winning basket in the final second. The Cougars move on to the tournament semifinals where they will meet No. 3 ranked Bethel College on Saturday.
FINAL SCORE: Spring Arbor 75, Taylor 73
LOCATION: Odle Arena | Upland, Ind.
RECORDS: Spring Arbor 18-13, Taylor 20-11
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Over the past 11 meetings, every game between Spring Arbor and Taylor has been decided in regulation by no more than five points or has gone into overtime. Wednesday night's showdown was no exception as the two rivals went toe-to-toe in an instant classic.
- Taylor opened the game red-hot from the field making its first five shots, including four three-pointers, to grab an early 14-10 lead.
- After a back and forth 13 minutes to start the game, the Trojans held the Cougars to just one field goal over a six minute stretch. As the SAU offense stalled, the home team would use a 16-3 run to open a 12 point advantage, 39-27, with 1:58 remaining in the half.
- Spring Arbor answered before halftime, however, with a jumper from Jeff Beckman, and Drew Zuidema buried a triple in the closing seconds to cut the deficit to six at the break, 39-33.
- The Cougars continued to close the gap early in the second half. Caleb Hogans got things started with a three-pointer. Moments later, Hogans put SAU in front 44-43 with an old-fashioned three-point play.
- Spring Arbor would lead by as many as five in the second half, but Taylor never went away.
- TU's Mason Degenkolb knocked down a triple to give Taylor a 70-68 lead with 2:35 left to play, but Thomas Starks would answer on the next possession with a three of his own to put SAU back in front.
- The Cougars led by one, 73-72, with 15 seconds left on the clock, but a free throw from TU's Tim Fleming evened the score. On the ensuing possession, Marandet slipped a pass into Starks underneath the basket. Starks kicked it out to Medendorp, who knocked down a jumper from just outside the paint with 1.9 seconds left on the clock. The Trojans had one last chance, but the half-court heave at the buzzer came up empty.
- The game featured 16 ties and 20 lead changes.
FOR THE COUGARS
- Medendorp posted 27 points – one off his career-high – on 12-for-19 shooting. He also added seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
- Marandet finished with 11 points, six assists and five boards while Xavier Prather and Hogans followed with nine and eight points, respectively. Starks hauled in 11 rebounds to go along with five points and four assists.
- Spring Arbor connected on 50 percent (30-for-60) of its field goal attempts, but was limited to just 5-for-14 from three-point range.
- The Cougars out-rebounded the Trojans 39-30.
FOR THE TROJANS
- Three Trojans scored in double figures led by Degenkolb with 16 points. Keaton Hendricks and Jake Heggeland added 13 points apiece.
- Taylor was held to 39 percent (23-for-59) shooting by the league's top defensive team. The Cougars, who rank 14th nationally in field goal percent defense, limited TU to 9-for-28 from behind the arc.
Spring Arbor will travel to Mishawaka, Indiana to take on No. 3 Bethel (27-4) in the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals on Saturday. The Pilots, who defeated SAU in both regular season meetings, are the tournament's No. 1 seed and winners of the regular season conference title.