By: Lucas Packer
The IU South Bend men's basketball teams held off a stubborn Trinity Christian University team today to secure their sixth win in the first eight games of this young season, winning 68-57. It was a win that can largely be credited to the three seniors on the team, who all made big plays for the Titans, especially in the second half when the game was ultimately decided, although frosh big man Jordan Burton also played well in the victory.
The first half saw IU South Bend take control of the game after initially falling behind by five to Trinity Christian. The Titans eventually pulled away, largely behind the scoring of Alanzo Bass, who had 11 in the half, and they went into the intermission holding a 31-23 lead. The second half, in the beginning at least, was even better as the Titans were up by as much as 18 about halfway thru the final stanza. The Trolls, however, refused to go away on their own home floor and they fought back, closing the gap all the way to four with just under five minutes to go in the game. Down the stretch, it was a bit of back-and-forth between the two teams, but Trinity Christian was in no position to trade buckets with IU South Bend, who eventually pushed their lead back to ten with under a minute to play and finished the game on top for the victory.
It was a balanced attack for IU South Bend, with four players scoring in double figures. The three aforementioned seniors were excellent, providing leadership and playmaking ability for the Titans. Alanzo Bass finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, Steven Heatherly tallied 13 points to go with his team-high 8 rebounds, and Kyle Heatherly provided 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Freshman Jordan Burton played strong as well, ending the game with 12 points and 5 rebounds for the victorious Titans. As a team, IU South Bend shot 47% from the field, including 5/12 from three-point range. Trinity Christian almost matched the Titans from the field, shooting 42%, but they could connect on only 2-17 from long range, and IU South Bend dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle 38-27. Despite the strong play, the Titans also committed 21 turnovers, one more than their counterparts, and there is no doubt head coach Chad Tapp will address that in the coming days.
The win improves IU South Bend to 6-2 (4-2 CCAC) for the year and locks them into second place in the conference, making the next game a huge one for a Titan team with big goals this year. Their next game will be at home against Cardinal Stritch University, who comes into the game at 7-0 (5-0 CCAC), good for first place in the conference and a #5 national ranking. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm and the game will take place in the SAC. For those unable to attend, the game will also be broadcast LIVE at www.iusbtitans.com.