Led by one of Kaspars Brencans’ best performances of the season, the Purdue University Calumet men’s basketball team never trailed in a convincing 78-61 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory at Judson University.
Brencans, a senior forward from Riga, Latvia (Florida Air Academy), recorded 26 points on 9 of 21 shooting from the floor and added 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season to lead the Peregrines, who improve to 10-11 overall and 5-6 in the CCAC.
Junior Duron Ivery (South Bend, Ind./Washington) added 14 points, senior Aaron Davis (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) had 13 points, five steals and five assists and sophomore Darric Obinger (Munster, Ind./Calumet Christian) chipped in 11 points on 3 of 5 shooting – including a perfect 2-for-2 from the 3-point line – in his first start of the season.
The Peregrines didn’t waste any time, jumping out to a 21-5 run to open the game, capped by an Ivery 3-pointer to give the visitors a commanding 16-point lead at the 11:29 mark. Brencans had eight points during that run, including two free throws and three buckets in the paint to kickstart his best scoring output of the season and just one point shy of his career high.
Purdue Calumet led by as many as 23 – up 32-9 with 7:31 before halftime – before Judson made a small run to get back into the game down 12, 38-26, heading into the locker room.
The Peregrines wouldn’t falter, outscoring Judson 40-35 in the second half to lead by double digits for the final 6:50 of the contest. The Eagles attempted an early comeback in the second frame, cutting the lead to just five, 45-40, with 13:56 to go, but two inside baskets by Ryan Rader (Lombard, Ill./WIllowbrook) and Danny Paschen (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) helped squash the threat and push the Peregrines’ back to 10.
Purdue Calumet shot 45.8 percent (15 of 33) for the contest, compared to 34.5 percent (19 of 55) for the Eagles (4-18, 1-0 CCAC), who dropped their fourth straight game to the Peregrines dating back to the 2012-13 season.
Drew Makiewicz led Judson with 11 points and Cortland Giilespie added 10 points in the setback.
Purdue Calumet returns to action Saturday, Jan. 31, when the Peregrines travel to Bourbonnais, Ill., for a 3 p.m. matchup at Olivet Nazarene.