By: Lucas Packer
The IU South Bend men's basketball team traveled to Missouri this weekend to participate in the Cougars vs. Cancer Classic on the campus of Columbia College and finished the tourney with a victory tonight over William Woods University by a final score of 65-59. After falling on the first day to the host Cougars, the #6 team in the country (NAIA Div. I), the Titans recovered to finish the tournament at 1-1 with an excellent display of team basketball and defensive tenacity. IU South Bend was focused and energized as they beat the Owls in nearly every aspect of the game.
The first half was hard-fought but it was the Titans that went into the break with a four point lead at 33-29. The lead was largely due to the hot shooting of IU South Bend as they shot a sizzling 61% from the field while holding WWU to just 39%. The second half was much the same, with the Titans shooting a still impressive 50% from the field while limiting the Owls to 41%. The second half was also a good battle, with IU South Bend outscoring WWU by just two (32-30) to secure the six point victory. In the end, it was the balanced approach and the stifling defense of the Titans that won the game. IU South Bend finished the game shooting 55% from the field, including 50% from long-range, while holding the Owls to just 40%. The Titans also won the rebounding battle 28-22 in securing the victory.
This was a great team effort for IU South Bend, with five Titans scoring in double figures. Despite the balance, it was Steven Heatherly that stole the show as he led the team in scoring with 17 points, rebounding with 5, and blocks, with 3. Not impressed yet? Well, consider that Steven did all that by shooting 4/4 from the field, including 3/3 from deep, and hitting 6/7 free throw attempts. As impressive as that is, he had help. Chris Beam scored 13, Alanzo Bass had 11, Kyle Heatherly tossed in 10, as did Jon Trawick to round out the double-figure scoring. The Owls were led by Logan Decker with 15 points.
The win improves the Titans to 10-6 on the year and is there fourth win in the last five games. They are next in action on January 3 as they return to conference play with a road game against St. Francis University. IU South Bend currently sits in 3rd place in the conference at 7-3, just a half-game ahead of St. Francis, who sports a 6-3 CCAC record, respectively. Tip-off for the game is slated for 8pm.