GARY | Calumet College's men's basketball team is making quite a turnaround early this season, and a lot of that has to do with two local players.
Hammond grad Robert Jackson poured in 24 points to lead the Crimson Wave to a 75-68 win over local rival IU-Northwest at the Savannah Center on Wednesday.
“It was just the will to win,” Jackson said of his offensive firepower. “It was just the team getting into a rhythm."
Griffith grad Brian Brilmeyer rebounded from a slow first half to finish with 13 points and nine rebounds. Brilmeyer came off of hip surgery last year, and coach Ryan Sexson noted his player is simply more comfortable with his body this season.
“Brian has been doing a really good job rebounding for us on a consistent basis,” Sexson said. “He's given us some scoring. He's got more of a commitment on the defensive end. He's been stable; he looks like a guy who has been in our program for three years."
Facing a 36-30 deficit at halftime, the Crimson Wave (6-3) embarked on a 19-4 second half run in the blink of an eye, taking a 49-40 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
IUN jumped out to an 18-9 lead early in the game and took advantage of nine Crimson Wave turnovers in the first half. Lew Wallace grad Ulzana Sullivan was a huge factor defensively in the first 20 minutes, recording five steals for the RedHawks.
Calumet College fought through a sloppy first half in which they were out-rebounded 25-13. However, 11 first-half points from Jackson and an 11-for-13 team clip from the free-throw line kept the Crimson Wave in the game. They finished 27-for-37 overall.
“Without free throws, we would have been down an even bigger margin,” Jackson said. “Free throws won us the game.”
Morgan Township grad Brandon Grubl led the RedHawks (3-6) with 15 points, while Valparaiso grad Quentin Palmer added 14.