Make it 20 straight home victories for the No. 9 Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team after the Peregrines held off visiting league foe Trinity Christian College in a 67-64 decision Wednesday night at the Fitness and Recreation Center.
Sophomore Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) continued her high-scoring ways with a game-best 23 points – hitting 5 of 10 shots from deep – and junior Patrice McBee (Monterey, Ind./Culver Community) netted her ninth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 boards to help Purdue Calumet (16-3, 8-1 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) remain unbeaten inside the confines of its home arena.
The last time the Peregrines lost at home was in a 79-73 setback to nonleague foe Huntington (Ind.) on December 27, 2013.
McBee – who leads all of NAIA Division II in field goal percentage at 69 percent entering Wednesday’s game – finished 10 of 14 from the field and added three blocks and Deno contributed two blocks and five rebounds.
Trinity Christian (8-12, 4-6) took an early 2-0 lead and held a one-point edge, 16-15, with 10:55 to play in the second half. The Trolls never regained the lead after that, as the Peregrines used a 20-7 run over the next nine minutes to take their largest lead of the game at 13, up 36-23 with 2:29 before the break. A Deno triple – her fourth of the contest at that point – kickstarted the run, and senior Stephanie Balon (Wanatah, Ind./South Central) added another trifecta one minute later to aid the Peregrines’ surge.
The Peregrines held at least a seven-point advantage for most of the second half pushing its lead to 11 with 4:14 to play on a Deno jumper. The Trolls, however, would have one last run, as back-to-back 3-pointers by Holly Boetsma and Allie Paluchniak trimmed the deficit to eight. Paluchniak would go on to drain another 3 with 2:02 to play to cut the Peregrine’s lead to just three, 65-62, but a big McBee offensive rebound and putback helped push the advantage back to five.
After a Caitlin Cody jumper again made it a three-point game with 30 ticks left, the Peregrines held the ball for the entire shot clock, giving the ball back to TCC with 1.4 seconds to go. Despite drawing up a play in the ensuing timeout, the Trolls were unable to get a shot off before time expired to seal the victory for Purdue Calumet.
The Peregrines shot 39.1 percent (27 of 69) for the contest compared to 44.8 percent (26 of 58) for the Trolls. The Peregrines used a big advantage in the second-chance points category (26-10), utilizing 17 offensive rebounds. Purdue Calumet also ended up outrebounding the Trolls by a 41-35 margin.
Senior Kami Graber (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) finished with six points, seven assists and seven rebounds and sophomore Darien Thompson (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) added four points, two steals, two assists and a career-best seven rebounds in the win.
Cody led the Trolls with 16 points and Rebecca DeHaan added 12 points in the setback.
Purdue Calumet returns to action Saturday, Jan. 24, when the No. 9 Peregrines host the No. 5 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) Wolves in a battle of NAIA Division II Top-10 teams. The women’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. at the Fitness and Recreation Center, followed by the men’s game at 3 p.m. 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.