Upland, Ind. – The Marian women's basketball team earned a big road victory Saturday afternoon, defeating Taylor University 76-66. The Knights used a 31-point fourth quarter to pull ahead of the Trojans for good. Marian is now 15-3 this season and 5-1 in Crossroads League play.
Marian started the game fast, opening the first quarter on a 6-0 run, which forced a Taylor timeout two minutes into the game. Taylor would respond, going on a run of their own to give the Trojans a brief lead. The Knights led 16-15 after the 1st quarter.
The second quarter started out shaky for the Knights, as they dug themselves into a 28-19 hole at the halfway point of the period. Marian got themselves back into the game with back-to-back baskets from Ana Kirby and Jess Almeida, as the Knights went on a 9-0 to give them a fighting chance. After trading baskets and free throws, Marian found themselves trailing 33-32 at the break.
The second half began as the first half ended, as both teams traded baskets in the third quarter. After Marian tied the game at 43 all, Taylor went on a 10-2 run giving them a 53-45 lead entering the final quarter. Marian entered full rally mode, trailing by eight to start the final quarter, and the Knights continued to turn to Kirby. The senior scored 12 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, as she drained 3-of-4 from downtown, and completed a 4-point play to give Marian a 61-60 lead. The play changed the momentum of the game, as Kellie Kirkhoff drained a corner three on the Knights next possession, putting the game on ice for Marian.
Kirby led all scorers with 23 points (6-7 from '3'), while fellow senior Almeida poured in 17 points. Kirkhoff was a stat-sheet-stuffer for the Knights, as she nearly messed around and got a triple-double (12 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast). Joana Soeiro stuffed the box score as well, scoring six points, grabbing six rebounds, and dishing out six dimes.
Marian will continue Crossroads League play next Wednesday night, as the Knights travel to Grace College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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