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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo
Izaiah Men's Basketball.jpg

TU basketball seeking to gain momentum in February

Trojans battle conference slate

Christmas break is a season of relaxation, family, friends, feasts and refreshment — unless you play college basketball. Over the 30-day window that was Christmas break and J-Term, the Taylor Trojans basketball team played a total of 10 games as they entered the heart of their season.

Entering the break and coming off of the 103-65 win over Great Lakes Christian in the nationally renowned Silent Night Game, the Trojans continued full steam ahead.

However, the stretch did not begin how they hoped as they lost to Ohio Christian 78-74 and West Virginia University Tech 77-65. In both games the Trojans were led by junior guard Kaden Fuhrmann scoring 19 and 24 points.

The Trojans then traveled to face the No. 1 team in the NAIA, Grace College, but lost 104-76.

Coming off their tough December stretch, the Trojans started January off on the right foot defeating Spring Arbor 72-57. The victory was led by junior forward Anton Webb posting a double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 points.

Taylor then dropped their first of two matchups with No. 9 Indiana Wesleyan 104-72. The team is looking for ways to improve their game following their winter performance. 

“We could continue working on defensive reliability,” sophomore Jackson Ullom said. "When we are hitting shots we are tough to play and hard to beat, but in the games where we do not shoot a high percentage we need to be able to rely on our defense to keep us in the game.”

Despite inching out a win over Goshen 79-71, the defensive struggles would continue as the 92-66 to Huntington. For the remainder of the stretch, the Trojans would turn it around.

The Trojans, thanks to 15 points from Fuhrmann and 10 rebounds from Webb, flew past Saint Francis 100-74. They also took down Mount Vernon Nazarene to round out the month of January.

With a record of 4-6 between the end of the fall semester and the month of February the Trojans didn’t have the winter break they were looking for. However, Ullom and freshman Izaiah Day shared tremendous optimism as young players on the squad.

Day listed the brotherhood of Taylor men’s basketball saying, “My favorite thing about Taylor men's basketball is our brotherhood. No matter what someone has going on, we have each other’s backs.”

As for Ullom, he is confident the team is on the right track. “Our progression from the beginning of the season to now,” Ullom said, “is our biggest accomplishment.”

Overall, while the Trojans have had a rough regular season, in large part due to inconsistent defensive play allowing insurmountable high-scoring games, Ullom is confident they can have a strong postseason.

“We have had to make changes and be adaptable, but we are a completely different team now,” Ullom said, “if we can improve our defense prior to the postseason then we will be in great shape.”