By: Lucas Packer
These are the kind of games that can make a coach crazy. You've got a young team, playing in only their second game of the year and it's also the first home game of the season. And oh yeah, you're playing against a team coming off of two straight national championships (USCAA). That was the situation that head coach Chad Tapp found himself in tonight as the Titans of IU South Bend faced off against Andrews University in their home opener. In the end, Coach Tapp had nothing to worry about as the Titans pulled off a huge win by a final score of 60-56 behind the strong play of senior Alanzo Bass.
Bass appeared to be all over the floor tonight right from the beginning. In the first half alone he had 8 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, including two straight three point plays just when it appeared that Andrews may be finding some momentum. The Cardinals had gone up by six before Bass made two straight layups while drawing the foul to tie the game. That is where the game sat at halftime with the score knotted at 30-30. The second half saw the Titans charge out of the gates, once again led by Bass, who knocked down several three-pointers in the early going. IU South Bend pulled ahead by as many as 11 but Andrews managed to fight back, although they never closed the gap to less than five for the remainder of the night. It was IU South Bend's defense that really stole the game, shutting down a Cardinals attack that featured some hot shooting in the first half from Tyler Wooldridge, who had 11 of his 21 in the first stanza, and Jerome Murray, who scored 12 of his 18 total points in the first half.
Bass finished the game with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in leading the Titans to victory. It was the second straight game that he was the catalyst in an IU South Bend win. He got plenty of help, as Chris Beam added 16 points and Steven Heatherly finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and a team-high 7 assists. As a team, IU South Bend shot 48% from the field while holding Andrews to just 41%. They also shot 52% from the three-point line, knocking down 10/19 shots from outside. On the flip side, however, the Titans managed to hit just 16/29 from the charity stripe, good (or bad) for just 55%, so there is definitely still room for improvement.
In the end, IU South Bend got a huge win against a quality opponent with a championship pedigree, got some outstanding leadership from their seniors, and pushed their season record to 2-0. They are next in action at home on November 7th as they face off against nationally ranked conference foe St. Xavier. The game will take place in the SAC at 7:30pm. For those unable to attend, the game will also be broadcast LIVE over the web at www.iusbtitans.com.