The No. 11 Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team kept its winning streak alive in the Peregrines’ 82-70 handling of Clarke University Saturday in a nonleague contest at the Fitness and Recreation Center.
With the victory, the Peregrines (13-2) won their seventh-straight game and their 18th in a row at the Fitness and Recreation Center dating back to last season.
Junior Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) led the way with her fourth double-double of the season, netting 24 points and 11 rebounds. Teammate Patrice McBee (Monterey, Ind./Culver Community) added her team-leading eighth double-double of the year with 13 points and 12 rebounds, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field.
Senior Kami Graber added 17 points and six assists and sophomore Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) chipped in with 13 points and six boards to round out Peregrine players in double-figure scoring.
The Crusaders (9-7) didn’t make things easy for the home team, as visiting Clarke 53.1 percent first-half shooting percentage to tie the game at 41-all at the break. The Peregrines led by as many as seven with 3:19 to play before the break, but Clarke used a 9-2 run to close the half with momentum heading into the locker room.
The two teams spent the first half second frame trading baskets, as the lead changed 10 times in the first 10 minutes as the score was tied at 60-all with 10:11 remaining. That’s when the Peregrines made their move, kickstarted by a Stephanie Balon (Wanatah, Ind./South Central) jumper and a Graber layup to take a quick 3-point lead.
A Buggs’ layup in the paint made it a four-point advantage two minutes later, followed by a Darien Thompson (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) jumper in the lane and another Buggs layup to make that lead eight, 71-63, with 6:56 to go.
That lead would hold, as two Graber free throws at the 2:06 mark gave the Peregrines a 10-point cushion. Purdue Calumet’s largest lead of the game came with 58 seconds to play, up 14 (82-68). The lead changed 12 times in the contest, as Clarke’s largest lead came in the first half, up five, 22-17.
The Peregrines held the edge on the boards, 39-29, and finished 53.7 percent (29 of 54) from the field. Purdue Calumet’s defense held the Crusaders to just 29 percent (9 of 31) shooting in the second half as Clarke finished 41.3 percent (26 of 63) from the field for the game.
Breland Prochaska led the visitors with 18 points and Katelyn Hoppman added 17 points off the bench.
ALL-TIME SCORING UPDATE: Graber took over the sixth spot on the all-time scoring list with her 17 points Saturday, as the senior passed former teammate Tierra Turner (1,422). Graber now has 1,437 career points, as she eyes fifth place, held by another former teammate, Alex Starr (1,583).
The Peregrines return to action Wednesday, Jan. 7, with an exhibition matchup at NCAA Division I Chicago State. Purdue Calumet will be on the road for the next two contests, taking on Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Robert Morris in Arlington Heights, Ill., Jan. 10 before returning home to the Fitness and Rec Center for a midweek home contest against Roosevelt Jan. 14.