By: Casey McDonald
The new semester welcomed cold weather, icy roads and Titan basketball back to South Bend.
But just like drivers on the icy bypass, the Titans struggled to gain traction as both teams went 1-5 in their first six games of the new year.
The women’s team thought they were headed in the right direction when their first game off of winter break ended in a 64-46 win against Calumet College of St. Joseph. Leading the Titans to that victory was Vicki Gard, who dropped 18 points on the night, being 50 percent behind the arc and two-for-two on her free throws.
Sophomore Loren Vokovits had 11 total rebounds on the game and nine points. However, the Titans hit a bump in the road after dropping their next five games against conference teams.
Even though they struggled, highlights were in the works as freshman guard Taylor Wesley had a career-high 21 point game in the 81-118 loss against twenty-second ranked Olivet Nazarene University. Alongside her record night, she was 60 percent in the paint and 50 percent at the line. Adding to a great fight was Vokovits with 18 points, and junior captain Paige Avery and sophomore Lucy Presnal each with 10 rebounds.
In their latest home matchup, IU South Bend went up against undefeated conference leader St. Francis University. After the first quarter of a back and forth shot contest, both teams were tied at 15, but that was the last time the Titans came within 10 points of the Fighting Saints as they took another loss by a score of 45-65. Ending the night in double digits was Wesley with 14 points and junior center Sarah Roglan with 10 points—71 percent inside the arc.
The Titan men struggled just as much and didn’t start off the season too well either. Their first game back from break ended in an 84-92 loss against Calumet College of St. Joseph. IU South Bend lost four straight matchups, including a nail-biter against the Fighting Saints of Olivet Nazarene.
Multiple Titans were in the double digits by the end of the night, including point leader senior guard Avery Harmon who banked 27 points with a 67 percent average behind the arc and junior forward Taylor Brooks with 17 points who went three-for-three at the line. Sophomore guard Rashaan Jackson had the team high 6 assists and junior T.J. Benner was 83 percent at the line with a 12-point night. Even after recovering from a 17 point deficit, the Titans fell short in overtime, 92-101.
In the 81-73 victory over Cardinal Stritch University, it was once again Avery Harmon who led the team with 28 total points, making all 11 of his free throws. Freshman guard Jurod Wooden followed with 13 points making three of his five attempted three pointers. Brooks also had an impressive night, knocking down 11 points to go along with his 11 rebounds.
In the latest home matchup, the Titans also battled the Fighting Saints of St. Francis. Wooden had a career-high night as he collected 25 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists. Jackson helped out with 17 more going two-for-two in free throws at seven-for-nine in the paint, and Avery knocked down 16 points. The Titans fought hard but they fell short 75-88.
Keep up to date on the rest of the basketball season with The Preface Sports.