A strong second half by Olivet Nazarene University helped the Tigers pull past the Purdue University Calumet men’s basketball team 80-60 in the Peregrines’ first Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest of the season Wednesday.
Junior Ryan Rader (Lombard, Ill./Willowbrook) led all Peregrine scorers with 13 points, while seniors Kaspars Brencans (Riga, Latvia/Florida Air Academy), Noah Allen (Flora, Ind./Carroll) and Aaron Davis (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) each chipped in with 12 points respectively.
The Peregrines (1-4, 0-1 CCAC) came out of the gates strong, as back-to-back jumpers Davis and Rader gave the Peregrines a 13-5 advantage with just under 12 minutes to go in the first half.
Olivet Nazarene (5-0, 1-0) would then go on a short run later in the half, as a jumper made by Hunter Jacobs evened the score 24-24 with just under five minutes remaining before the break. The two traded buckets back and forth in the final minutes before halftime, with a last second jumper by sophomore Danny Paschen (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) giving Purdue Calumet a 34-32 advantage heading into the second half.
The second period was much like the first, with both teams continuing to trade baskets as the score was evened up again 49-49 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the final stanza.
Two straight triples by Austin Davis and Alec Goetz helped the Tigers go on a 12-3 run over the next two minutes, as ONU took an eight-point lead (61-53) with 7:22 remaining. Olivet Nazarene never looked back after, that using a 13-0 run in the final 3:48 to put the game out of reach and hand the Peregrines their third-straight loss.
Larson led all scorers with a game-high 21 points off 7 of 10 shooting, while garnering nine rebounds and going 5 for 6 from the charity stripe.
Purdue Calumet finished the game shooting 45.1 percent (23 for 51) from the field, compared to 42.6 percent (29 for 68) for the Tigers, who scored 14 points off Peregrine turnovers and held a 44-33 advantage on the glass.
Paschen and Brencans finished with seven rebounds each for Purdue Calumet.
The Peregrines will be back in action this Saturday, as they host Great Lakes Christian College at the FNRC for a 3 p.m. nonleague tip-off.