By: CAMERON MCCARTNEY
The IU South Bend men’s basketball team faced the Bearcats of Brescia University on the IUSB campus on Wednesday night, and the Titans started the game on fire. Shooting three-pointers and hustling up and down the court, IUSB never trailed despite some close calls, and pulled off the win, 90-77. This makes IUSB 2-5 overall but still 0-0 in the CCAC (Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference).
In the first half, Beacher Ward jump started the Titan’s defense with five rebounds and two steals, while the Titans connected on nine of their 12 three-point attempts.
Offensively, Brandon Beam led IUSB during the first 20 minutes with 14 points, while Shane Cook came off the bench with four minutes left in the first half to drain two treys and push the Titan fast break with some nice steals.
By the end of the game, Beam finished with 25 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Ward had a double double with 21 points and 11 rebounds to go with two assists and two steals, while Cook played some great man-to-man defense on the Bearcats’ shooting guards. IUSB shot 57 percent from field-goal range as the Bearcats shot 40 percent.
“I thought we shot the ball extremely well tonight, especially from three-point range,” said Titan Head Coach Scott Cooper. “We were 75 percent from three in the first half, 44 percent in the second half and 62 percent for the game, which are all outstanding numbers. We moved the ball well, and played really well as a team. That resulted in a lot of wide open shots, and that was the reason we were able to shoot the ball the way we did.”
Cooper was encouraged by the team’s play, and hopes that continued improvement will result in more fans turning out to see the team play.
“Having such a large commuter student population (means) that is always tough to predict,” Cooper commented. “(But) if we continue to improve the way we have this week, we should have a pretty good team that is a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully that will result in larger crowds.”
Next up for the Titans before Thanksgiving break will be cross-town rival Holy Cross. “We will keep preparing the same way we have for every game, and for us that means working on a lot of little things both offensively and defensively that we need to improve,” Cooper stated.
“We have a lot of film on Holy Cross, and I am sure they have quite a bit on us as well by now. So there are no secrets going into the game,” Cooper said. “We both have young teams that are adjusting to new head coaches. Whichever team is able to execute their system better is going to win. If we play well, we will have a good chance to start out the conference season 1-0.”