FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The Indiana Tech men’s basketball team defeated Taylor University, 88-74, Thursday evening inside the Schaefer Center.
Josh Kline and Grant Smith each had a team-best 18 points and eight rebounds, while the former added two blocks and the latter dished out six assists and collected two steals.
Rog Stein had 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Tech started off the game on a 6-0 run with baskets from Smith, Stein and Kline respectively and the Warrior bench brought energy and life to an otherwise empty Kline Court as the team played its first home game without spectators this season.
Back-to-back buckets in the paint from the frontcourt duo of Stein and Kline pushed the lead to 10-2 and promoted Taylor to call a timeout with 15:11 on the clock.
The Trojans, veterans of the always tough Crossroads League, would go down lightly, battling back to tie the game up at 16 with 9:05 to go in the first half following an 8-2 run.
The teams traded baskets over the next couple of minutes, with the visitors grabbing the lead at the 8:13 following a triple from Gavin Yoon to make it 19-18.
Sam Skaggs answered with a three of his own two possessions later to give put the Orange and Black back on top.
The Trojans kept the Warriors close over the final six minutes of the half, but were unable to retake the lead as Tech held a 38-34 advantage at the end of the first.
The hosts turned their attention to the paint in the second half, attacking the Trojans to the tune of 24 points in the lane, with Stein, Kline and McKinney combining for 33 of the team’s 50 points.
Taylor tied the game up at 41 with 17:51 on the clock following a 7-3 spurt to open the second half, but the Warriors answered with a 7-2 run to go back up 50-45 at the 15:21 mark.
A 3:19 scoring drought from the Trojans, coupled with an 11-0 run from Tech, pushed the lead up to 65-50 for the hosts and put the visitors on their heels for good with under 10 minutes to play.
The Trojans cut the lead back down to 10 points with 7:26 to go, but that was as close as they would get as the Orange and Black responded with an 18-8 run to make it an 86-66 game at the 2:40 mark and shut the door on any comeback attempt.
Tech (4-2) is slated to return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 24 as they travel to Governors State University.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET from the Athletics and Recreation Center in University Park, Illinois.