The Purdue University Calumet men’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing skid and defeated conference rival Trinity Christian College in the process in a big 84-78 victory Wednesday evening at the Fitness and Recreation Center.
Senior Kaspars Brencans (Riga, Latvia/Florida Air Academy) led four Peregrine scorers in double figures, recording a team-high 20 points while chipping in five rebounds. Classmates Noah Allen (Flora, Ind./Carroll) added 19 points on 6 of 10 from the field including a trio of trifectas and Aaron Davis (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) finished one rebound shy of a double-double, recording 18 points and nine rebounds.
Both teams started the game off strong, as there were four lead changes in the first 10 minutes of play in the opening half. Rader and Brencans led a 10-1 run midway through the period, giving the Peregrines (9-10, 4-5 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) a 29-21 lead with just under seven minutes remaining before the break.
The Trolls (5-16, 1-10) would try to answer the offensive surge of the Peregrines, but the Black and Gold fought hard to increase their lead to 41-32 after a buzzer-beater three-point field goal by Allen sent the Peregrines to the locker room with a nine point advantage.
TCC would bounce back early on in the second half, after multiple trifectas by Joe Hehir and Jared Jones gave the Trolls a 58-53 lead with just under 12 minutes left in the period.
That was the last stretch that the Peregrines trailed, as Purdue Calumet stormed back with a run of their own, jumping out to a 70-62 with six minutes remaining. Brencans netted six of his 20 points and junior Dayvohn Braxton (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) drained a 3-pointer from the wing to help make up the important 11-2 surge.
Purdue Calumet’s free throw shooting down the stretch sealed the win for the Peregrines, as the host knocked down 10 shots from the charity stripe in the final five minutes to lock up the victory.
Junior Ryan Rader (Lombard, Ill./Willowbrook) added 10 points and five rebounds and sophomore Darric Obinger (Munster, Ind./Calumet Christian) chipped in seven points and three assists for the home team.
Purdue Calumet finished the game shooting 56.6 percent from the field (30-53) compared to 47.2 percent (25-53) for the Trolls. The Peregrines also posted a 31-26 advantage on the glass while dominating inside, posting a 44-24 scoring advantage in the paint.
Cody Rhorer led the Trolls with 23 points and Jared Jones added 18 points in the setback.
Purdue Calumet returns to action Saturday, Jan. 24 as it hosts CCAC rival Cardinal Stritch in a 3 p.m. start at the Fitness and Recreation Center.
Saturday also marks Purdue Calumet’s Suits and Sneakers game in support of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Coaches vs. Cancer initiative.