By: Lucas Packer
The IU South Bend men's basketball team got back on track tonight with a strong showing in a conference victory over the visiting Panthers of Purdue University North Central. The final score was 80-68 and the Titans led the game from the opening tip-off all the way until the final buzzer. It was a solid outing for IU South Bend but did not come without its drama. Out of the gates it was all Titans, as in ALL Titans. Wide open layup after wide open layup on offense and steal after steal on defense helped IU South Bend jump out to an early fifteen point lead. Just when it seemed there was no hope for the Panthers they responded with a run of their own in the final minutes of the first half and they managed to close the gap to just eight with a score of 37-29 going into the intermission.
The second half saw Purdue North Central continue their strong play in the opening minutes, closing the gap all the way down to three, but then IU South Bend woke back up and closed the game out incredibly strong behind the play of senior Alanzo Bass, who was a monster, particularly on the defensive end, all night long. In the end, the Panthers were undersized and outmanned and the Titans blew the game back open to secure the win. The final score made the game seem a bit closer than it may have been really been, with the Titans dominating early and late, but the run in the middle of the contest kept the final score close for the Panthers.
Bass, the aforementioned senior point guard, was a force for IU South Bend on both ends of the floor, finishing with 20 points, 5 assists, 7 rebounds and an outstanding 8 steals to pace the Titans. As good as he was, Bass got a lot of help as Jordan Burton tallied 17 points on 7/7 shooting, Chris Beam finished with 13 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds, and Steven Heatherly finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. All in all it was a good team victory with multiple players contributing to the cause as IU South Bend shot 55% from the field, compared to PNC, who shot just 44% themselves. On the flip side, IU South Bend committed 19 turnovers, which is something head coach Chad Tapp will no doubt address moving forward. PNC was led in the defeat by Alphonse Futch with 15 points and Matt Demler, who finished with 13 of his own.
The win improves the Titans to 4-1 (2-1 CCAC) on the year and gives them some momentum going into their next game, which will be this Saturday, November 17 against Olivet Nazarene in the SAC at 2pm in the SAC. For those unable to attend, the game will be broadcast LIVE at www.iusbtitans.com.