Deno’s 22 Leads Purdue Calumet to 77-53 Win at Trinity International

PUC-PeregrinsThe No. 9 Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team never trailed en route to its 15th win this season in Saturday’s 77-53 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory at Trinity International University.

Sophomore Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) led the way for the CCAC South Division leader Peregrines (15-3, 7-1), netting 22 points and 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. She added three assists, three steals, and a block.

Senior teammate Kami Graber (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) added 15 points, eight boards, three assists and two steals, sophomore Darien Thompson (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) added 12 points and six rebounds and junior Patrice McBee (Monterey, Ind./Culver Community) made 5 of her 7 shot attempts to finish with 11 points in the victory.

Purdue Calumet led at the break, 32-23, thanks to a 12-2 run to start the contest. Deno drained her first of four 3-pointers in the first 30 seconds and added two layups and a jumper during the run that gave the Peregrines a quick 10-point lead with 16:10 to play in the first half.

TIU (2-18, 1-8) made a run of its own midway through the period, cutting a 10-point lead (14-4) to just four, 14-10, after Daja Johnson hit back-to-back triples to give the Trojans some momentum. The Peregrines would respond, scoring four quick points on a McBee layup and a Jessica Kiser (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) steal and ensuing Thompson lay-in to go back up eight and force a TIU timeout. Purdue Calumet’s lead would hold for the final nine minutes, up nine at the break.

The Peregrines opened the second half hot, using a 17-2 run to blow open a 24-point lead (49-25) at the 14:29 mark. McBee started the run with a layup in the paint, Graber drained a jumper and Deno knocked down two straight treys to start the races for the Peregrines. Thompson added a triple of her own and Graber made two free throws and a layup to cap the big run.

Purdue Calumet’s lead never fell below 20 the rest of the way, using a second-half 47.1 shooting performance to help seal the victory.

The Peregrines defense helped force the Trojans into 26 turnovers for the contest and held them to just 32.7 percent shooting (18 of 55) from the field. Purdue Calumet also dominated on the glass, 56-38, which included 29 offensive rebounds.

Purdue Calumet finished 36.4 percent (28 of 77) shooting for the game and reached the free throw line 25 times, making 15. Freshman Katie Wampler (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) added eight points and five rebounds and senior Stephanie Balon (Wanatah, Ind./South Central) added six points and eight rebounds for the Peregrines.

JaToya Woods led TIU with a game-high 24 points and added seven rebounds as the lone Trojan in double figures.

The Peregrines return to action Wednesday, Jan. 21, when they host CCAC foe Trinity Christian in the first game of a doubleheader with the men’s teams beginning at 5 p.m. at the Fitness and Recreation Center. Purdue Calumet will seek its 20th-straight win at home dating back to the 2013-14 season.

Jan. 21 is also Meatheads night, as Purdue Calumet partners with the local burger restaurant to offer fans coupons and other prizes, including two chances to win $100 Meatheads gift cards with halftime half-court shot contest.