Purdue Calumet holds off Holy Cross College, 68-59

PUC-PeregrinsThe No. 11 Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team held off visiting Holy Cross College in a 68-59 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory Saturday at the Fitness and Recreation Center.

The Peregrines (10-2, 5-0) remained perfect in league play with the victory, which also marked Purdue Calumet’s 11th-straight win over the Saints (2-11, 1-3).

Junior Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) led the way with her third double-double of the season, netting 16 points and 12 rebounds and senior Kami Graber (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) scored a game-high 18 points for the Peregrines, who led 34-31 at halftime.

Both teams went back and forth to start the game, as the Peregrines built a 7-2 lead to start the game, capped by an offensive rebound and put back by Patrice McBee (Monterey, Ind./Culver Community) at the 17:51 mark. Holy Cross would answer with a run of its own, cutting the Peregrines’ lead to one, 9-8. Holy Cross took the lead with 4:39 to go before half, 27-25, but a McBee layup and two free throws each by Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) and Darien Thompson (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) pushed the home team’s lead back to four, 31-27.

An Ellie Michalski (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) layup early in the second half gave the Peregrines’ a seven-point lead at the 18:44 mark, as that lead would hold – the Peregrines never trailed in the second half. Sammy Dillman’s (Bedford, Ind./North Lawrence) triple gave Purdue Calumet its largest lead (11) at the 9:25 mark, and the Saints weren’t able to come any closer than six down the stretch.

McBee finished with eight points and Deno had eight points and five assists, while Buggs added six assists, three steals and two blocks for the Peregrines, who finished 36.8 percent (25 of 68) from the field and forced the Saints into 26 turnovers that turned into 27 points.

Carmen Lowe led Holy Cross with 16 points and Kari Barnes added 15 points. The Saints finished 33.3 percent (21 of 63) from the field and held a slight advantage on the boards, 48-44.

Purdue Calumet returns to action Saturday, Dec. 20, when the Peregrines host nonleague opponent Rochester College (Mich.) in a 1 p.m. matchup at the Fitness and Recreation Center.