WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Purdue Calumet's Tierra Turner has made huge impact

2014-03-09T17:45:00Z 2014-03-09T20:38:34Z Purdue Calumet's Tierra Turner has made huge impactMatt Douthett Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 09, 2014 5:45 pm  • 

Tierra Turner's basketball career has certainly had its fair share of ups and downs.

The Merrillville grad tore an ACL during her senior season at Merrillville, and again during a Purdue Calumet preseason game in 2011.

Those setbacks behind her, Turner, who is feeling 100 percent this season, has made a huge impact on the court for the Peregrines.

Turner leads Purdue Calumet with 18 points per game this season, and is shooting nearly 47 percent from the 3-point line and 89 percent from the free-throw line.

"I'm feeling really confident," Turner said. "With me being a senior, I have a lot of confidence because I've been doing this for so long. I need to have that confidence."

Purdue Calumet coach Tom Megyesi praised Turner for her leadership and skills on the court, knowing she's been an integral part to the success of the Peregrines (24-6) this season.

"She's been great," he said. "She's a leader and she's very positive with all of her teammates. She's constantly complimenting them and encouraging them to do well.

"She's a 3-point shooting threat and if they come out at us, she can take it to the hole. She's been very crucial with her scoring prowess. She's been very consistent for us."

Turner, who scored 30 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in the Peregrines' Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship win over Olivet Nazarene on March 1, knows her next game could be her last.

The Peregrines, who earned a No. 4 seed in the women's NAIA Division II Tournament, will face No. 5 seed Oregon Tech at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. Purdue Calumet was one-and-done in last season's NAIA Tournament, so Turner said she wants to avoid the sting of that feeling again.

Megyesi compared Oregon Tech with IU-South Bend, a CCAC opponent. He was able to scout Oregon Tech, which has starters all taller than 5-foot-9, by watching videos on YouTube.

"They've got some size," Megyesi said. "We're going to have to deal with that inside, obviously."

The Purdue Calumet community has backed the Peregrines greatly this season. It's something Turner started noticing last season when supporters started coming out in increasing numbers. It's even more noticeable this season as the success of the team continues.

"We have gotten a ton of support, actually," Turner said. "We've had so much more support. Last year, it was basically the faculty. Now, we have more teachers, more students, more fans, more everything."

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