Four players reached double figures to lead the No. 10 Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team to a convincing 107-49 victory over visiting Viterbo University Friday night in the Peregrines’ season opener.
Purdue Calumet (1-0) shot a blistering 57.9 percent (44 for 76) from the field in opening game of the team’s Tip-Off Classic tournament at the Fitness and Recreation Center.
Sophomore guard Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) paced the Peregrines with 23 points, as the former 2013-14 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year drained 5-of-9 shots from downtown and added a team-best eight rebounds. Senior teammate Stephanie Balon (Wanatah, Ind./South Central) added a career-high 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting, as she drilled 5 of 6 shots from 3-point land.
Junior Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) added 19 points, seven boards and five assists and sophomore guard Darien Thompson (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) had 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting, adding five assists and two steals.
The Peregrines, ranked No. 10 in the NAIA Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, showed their strength in the opener, as they forced the V-Hawks (0-1) into 25 turnovers while committing just six in 40 minutes. Purdue Calumet held the edge on the board, 37-31, and recorded 14 steals in the contest.
In all, the Peregrines hit 15 3s on just 25 attempts (60 percent) aided by triples from freshmen Sammy Dillman (Bedford, Ind./North Lawrence), Katie Wampler (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg), and Alexis Johnson (Portage, Ind./Portage).
Purdue Calumet led at the half, 48-22.
Jenna Engh had 11 points and Whitney Hanson added 10 points and 10 boards to lead the V-Hawks in the loss.
Purdue Calumet returns to action in Saturday’s final game of the Tip-Off Classic, in a 3 p.m. matchup against Marian University (Ind.). Prior to the game, the 2013-14 team that captured both the CCAC regular season and tournament title and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA Division II national tournament will be honored.