By: Lucas Packer
The IU South Bend men's basketball team faced off against crosstown rival Bethel College tonight inside the Student Activities Center and came out on the wrong end of things, losing the game by a final score of 73-62. It is the fourth loss in the last five games for a Titan squad that started the season with some high expectations. After starting 5-1, IU South Bend now falls to 6-5 on the year and is in desperate need of some floor leadership moving forward.
The first half saw the Titans get off to a slow start, but midway thru the period they appeared to get into a rhythm and took charge of the contest. Inspired play by Alanzo Bass and Chris Beam led the way for IU South Bend, who went into the locker room holding a 34-31 lead. Bass had 11 points in the first stanza, while Beam pumped in 8 of his own. Coming out of the break, IU South Bend intended to slow the tempo of the game and take control. For the first ten minutes or so, they did exactly that, building an 11-point lead on the Pilots and looking to be in control of the game. At that point, Bethel woke up, spurred on by the shooting of Zach Miller and the emotions of their senior leader Jordan Bowerman, who refused to allow his team to quit, urging the Pilots to keep scrapping. Keep scrapping they did, to the tune of a 22-point turn around in the closing minutes to pull out the Pilots victory. It was an unforgivable let-down by the Titans, who needed this win badly to grab some momentum as they move back into the CCAC schedule, which doesn't get any easier.
Ultimately, it was a collective team let-down with few bright spots. Senior Alanzo Bass scored 23 points to go with his 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals but needed 19 shots to do it. Chris Beam's 13 points made him the only other Titan in double figures. IU South Bend shot 40% from the field while holding Bethel to just 35% but they gave up 14 offensive rebounds and those extra possessions proved to be fatal to the Titan's chances. Overall, IU South Bend lost the rebounding battle, a common problem so far this season, by a total of 39-32 and they shot just 4/19 from behind the arc for a paltry 21%.The Titans also turned the ball over 18 times as they failed to handle the full-court pressure of the Pilots, especially in the second half. Bethel was led by Bowerman with 22 points and 8 rebounds and Zach Miller, who finished with 22 points of his own, including four big three-pointers.
The Titans will next be in in action on December 8, 2012, as they travel to face off against CCAC opponent Calumet College of St. Joseph. The game is slated for a 4pm tip-off and is a huge contest for IU South Bend as they try to just ahead of the middle of the pack teams within their own conference. The Titans currently sit at 6th place in the CCAC at 4-3.