By: Lucas Packer
The IU South Bend men's basketball team made history again tonight, winning their 20th game of the year, their first time in school history winning twenty, with a 58-55 win over the visiting Purdue University Calumet Peregrines. It was an intense battle with momentum shifts going both ways but in the end it was the Titans that came out victorious in the CCAC quarterfinal matchup.
The first half started out all IU South Bend as they jumped out to an early lead behind the hot shooting of Steven Heatherly, who scored 13 in the first half. The Peregrines were not about to lay down, however, and after falling behind 10 they fought back, putting together a nice run near the end of the half to go into the intermission with a 32-28 lead. All the momentum had shifted Purdue Calumet's way so halftime came not a moment too soon for IU South Bend. The teams shot nearly the same percentage, 44% for the Titans to 43% for Purdue Calumet.
The break turned out to be great for the Titans, who regrouped in the locker room and came back out playing focused basketball once again, eventually taking back the lead and pushing the lead back to ten with about ten minutes to go. Then, much the same as the first half, PUC caught fire again, closing the game back to a single possession on a number of different occasions, largely behind the play of senior Martel Jackson. The final possession for the Peregrines came down to a flurry of three-pointers and offensive rebounds but they could not stick a shot and the Titans walked away with a huge win.
IU South Bend was led by senior Steven Heatherly, who finished with 22 points and 5 rebounds, Austin Fox, who had a low-scoring game with 4 points but yanked down 12 rebounds, and Alanzo Bass, who scored 10 points and dished out 4 assists. PUC got 18 from the aforementioned Jackson, along with 12 points from Kedric Williams. The Titans finished shooting 43% from the field compared to 41% for the visitors and each team pulled down 30 rebounds. It was that kind of game, for sure.
With the win, the Titans move to 20-11 (17-8 CCAC) in what was the final career home game for three Titan seniors, Alanzo Bass, Steven Heatherly, and Kyle Heatherly. IU South Bend now moves on the conference semi-final against #7 St. Xavier University at 8pm on Friday evening. The final two rounds of the conference tournament will be played in Milwaukee, WI on the campus of #2 Cardinal Stritch University.