HAMMOND | The previous two times Olivet Nazarene and Purdue Calumet met on the basketball court, both teams combined for more than 200 points as the teams split their regular-season series.
So it came as no surprise that Wednesday's evening's Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinal game between the Tigers and Peregrines was yet another offensive shootout.
Backed by the strength of six players scoring in double figures, Purdue Calumet got the best of Olivet in a very strong second half, as the Peregrines led by as much as 18 in a 112-99 win.
“We got more composure and were looking better up the floor,” Purdue Calumet coach Tom Megyesi said. “We just shot the lights out in the second half (62.5 percent), and we hit the boards better.”
Merrillville graduate Tierra Turner was honored with a plaque after the game to recognize scoring 1,000 points in her career at Purdue Calumet. She also received a hug from Megyesi after the tough win.
“I didn't even hear it when they announced it,” Turner said. “It feels good, because In high school, I tore my ACL before I needed like nine more points to do it.”
Alex Starr led the way with 23 points, recovering from a 2-for-14, seven-point first half. Amanda Gaskin went 8-for-11 with 20 points. Brooklyn Short (18 points), Kami Graber (17) and Turner (16) all had solid games.
Starr knew she just had to keep shooting, and eventually the shots would fall.
“We knew we couldn't give up,” Starr said. “I was a little bit (frustrated) because my shots have been feeling so good lately. I had to keep shooting and not let it bother me.”
Both teams struggled mightily from the field in the first half.
Olivet led by as much as six in the first half, but the Peregrines rebounded to take a 43-42 lead at halftime, despite shooting just 30 percent from the field.
The Tigers fared even worse, connecting on just 13 of 48 shots, including 7-for-30 from 3-point range.
With just about everyone on the Peregrines struggling from the field in the first half, Patrice McBee stepped up, going 5-for-11 from the field for 10 points.
“She gave us valuable minutes in the first half, key rebounds and was an intimidating factor inside on defense,” Megyesi said. “She's really coming around. She's going to be a great player for us.”
The Peregrines advance in the tournament to play at Roosevelt on Friday. Tip-off is yet to be determined.