Purdue Calumet women ready for CCAC tournament

2014-02-23T21:00:00Z Purdue Calumet women ready for CCAC tournamentMatt Douthett Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 23, 2014 9:00 pm  • 

The numbers don't lie for Purdue Calumet's women's basketball program.

On the team's website is a graphic listing the accomplishments of the Peregrines. Six 20-win seasons, six NAIA scholar-athletes, four Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference titles, three NAIA tournament appearances and 27 First-Team All-CCAC athletes.

It's safe to say that coach Tom Megyesi has built a winning tradition on the Hammond campus.

Fresh off an 87-80 victory over Calumet College that earned Purdue Calumet its first CCAC regular-season title in 10 years, the Peregrines will relax before hosting a second-round CCAC tournament game at 5 p.m. Wednesday after a first-round bye in the tournament and the No. 1 seed overall. Purdue Calumet will play the winner of Robert Morris and Holy Cross. Calumet College will also participate in the tournament, as the Crimson Wave travel to St. Francis for a 7 p.m. Monday game.

"It gives us a lot of confidence knowing we can compete with anybody in our conference," Megyesi said. "For us to be 15-2 (in the CCAC) is a great accomplishment for us because there's a lot of good teams in our conference."

Should they win the CCAC tournament, the Peregrines will earn an automatic bid to the women's NAIA Division II Tournament. While the No. 15-ranked Peregrines are a safe bet to earn an automatic bid if they don't win the tournament, capturing the CCAC title in that regard would be a first for the school.

"We're just staying in shape now and not doing much of anything different," Megyesi said. "They're staying conditioned, doing a lot of shooting in practice and getting mentally prepared. The girls are very excited, and they'll do just fine."

One of the biggest keys to the Peregrines' success this season has been Tierra Turner's emergence as the leading scorer at 16.4 points per game. Turner also leads the team in 3-point percentage (.447) and has caught fire offensively of late, scoring 27 points in a Feb. 15 win over St. Francis and 22 points in the CCAC-clinching victory over Calumet College.

"She's playing like a true senior," Megyesi said. "She knows every game could be her final game and she's just leaving it all on the floor. She's giving that extra effort and extra hustle. She's making a huge impact for her team, but it's not about her and she knows that. She just wants to make sure she gives everything she can for our success."

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