HAMMOND | Driving to the basket and geting free throw attempts is a huge part of Kami Graber's game, and the Purdue Calumet junior guard showcased it Saturday afternoon.
Graber's scoring line shows just a 4-for-13 shooting effort from the field, but a 9-for-11 clip from the free-throw line helped give the No. 21 Peregrines a 54-47 win over visiting Ashford.
"We feel we have to attack the basket as often as we can," Purdue Cal coach Tom Megyesi said. "Kami Graber did a great job of attacking the basket and getting fouls. She's very strong, and I was very pleased with her effort."
The Peregrines (6-2) clamped down on defense in the first half, holding Ashford to 34.8 percent from the field, including an 0-for-8 clip from 3-point range. They also limited Ashford forward Elizbaeth Nardi to five first-half points.
"I think defense was the key to success (Saturday)," Megyesi said. "We weren't clicking well offensively at all, so I feel our defense saved us."
"We just played really good team defense," Graber added. "Every time the ball got into the post, we surrounded her. They kicked it out for the three, and we got out on her. Coach told us it was our best defensive game yet."
Purdue Calumet led by 18 points with 5:47 remaining in the game. Ashford then displayed some second half offensive firepower, shooting 6-for-8 from 3-point range.
"Of course you worry," Megyesi said of the rally. "You can't take anybody lightly. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. They're on the road, they played hard, they played great defense. You've got to give them a lot of credit. I was very impressed."
Brooklyn Short added 10 points for the Peregrines, while Patrice McBee narrowly missed a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.
Purdue Calumet will host rival IU-Northwest at 5 p.m. Wednesday.