HAMMOND | The hole Purdue Calumet dug itself into Friday night seemed as deep as the Grand Canyon.
And despite a 19-point performance from Brooklyn Short, including a 4-for-5 clip from 3-point range, there wasn't much PUC was able to do to climb out in a 79-73 loss to Huntington in a game the Peregrines never led. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak.
"We dug ourselves a deep hole, and they weathered the storm," Purdue Calumet coach Tom Megyesi said of Huntington. "They shot the ball outstanding. It was just a great job of shooting, which means we've got to play better defense."
The Foresters (10-3) committed 17 turnovers to Purdue Calumet's eight, but that was heavily offset by 33-for-59 shooting from the field. All five of Huntington's starters posted double-figures scoring, including 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks from Illiana Christian grad Jaclene Bonnema.
The Peregrines, meanwhile, shot just 23-for-68 overall. Leading scorer Kami Graber had 15 points, but finished only 5-for-18 from the field and looked frustrated at times. Merrillville grad Tierra Turner went 5-for-13 for 14 points before fouling out late in the second half.
"They were getting great shots," Megyesi said of Huntington. "It's a tribute to the coach (Lori Culler) running a great offense for them. They finished, and those weren't high percentage shots. What can you do?"
In the second half, Huntington eventually built a 68-50 lead before the Peregrines capped a 23-9 run on a 3-pointer from Cassidy Deno, but the Foresters were able to hold on via clutch free-throw shooting.
"They didn't quit," Megyesi said. "I just wish they would have played the first 30 minutes as hard as they did the last nine."
Short's 14-point effort in the first half kept the Peregrines (10-5) in the game, as they faced a 44-36 halftime deficit. They were down 15 points seven minutes before the break.
"She kept us alive in that first half," Megyesi said. "They didn't run away with it in the beginning thanks to her hot shooting."