Tigers Open Season With Statement Win Over Taylor

ONU Tigers came together to honor Braydon and his legacy.

November 1, 2023 Athletics

Olivet Men's Basketball team memorializes former player Braydon Flagg

BOURBONNAIS, IL. – On a night where the ONU campus rallied around the loss of a teammate, the No. 25 Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team opened up their 2023-24 campaign with a statement 88-66 win over the Taylor Trojans Monday evening in McHie Arena.

Prior to tip-off, Head Coach Nick Birkey and the ONU men’s basketball team paid their respects to Braydon Flagg’s family while McHie Arena came together in a moment of silence to honor Braydon and his legacy.

Despite the final score, the Tigers found themselves in a big hole early. Taylor (1-1) opened the game by making three straight three-pointers to snag a 9-2 lead just two minutes into the game. And when the Trojans converted on a four-point play, the Tigers trailed by double figures midway through the first half.

Trailing 26-16 at the 11-minute mark, Tyler Schmidt sparked an ONU run. The defending CCAC Player of the Year contributed to the teams’ next 10 points, scoring eight of them and dishing an assist to Griffin Andricks for an easy layup to cut the deficit to three.

With under five minutes left in the first half, Eli Edwards converted back-to-back layups to give the Tigers their first lead of the half. After Taylor reclaimed the lead on the next possession, Sam Emich scored on consecutive drives to the hoop to give ONU a lead they would hold on to for the remainder of the game.

The second period was all ONU. After failing to connect on 10 three-point attempts in the first half, the Tigers caught fire in the second half behind Landon Pflederer. The senior point guard went 3-for-3 from behind the arc in the final period as ONU cruised to the 22-point margin of victory.

ONU shot over 56-percent from the floor while limiting the Trojans to worse than 33-percent shooting. The Tigers also won the rebound and assist battles by margins of 42-33 and 18-8, respectively.

Four Tigers finished in double figures, led by Schmidt’s 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting. The senior guard nearly recorded a triple-double, finishing with nine rebounds and eight assists.

Pflederer knocked down three of the team’s four 3’s on his way to 19 points. Edwards came off the bench to score 14. Emich notched 10 points in the Tiger’s season-opening victory.

ONU, now at 1-0 to start the season, will hit the road to take on No. 24 Indiana Tech in a Top-25 matchup. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. CST in the Schaeffer Center.

For more information about the athletics program, contact Evan Wild, Sports Information Director, ewwild@olivet.edu.

To view all Tiger Athletics news, click here.

— Republished 11/1/2023 —

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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