By: CASEY McDONALD
It was a double header on a cold January afternoon when the IU South Bend Titans took on the Trojans of Trinity International University of Deerfield, Illinois.
Entering the contest the men’s team was 11-12 overall and 5-9 in the CCAC, but they were hoping to give the 17th ranked team a run for their money. The Titans only led once when Jeremy Jones knocked down his one and only triple of the matchup, after that the Trojans took control.
Going into halftime IU South Bend trailed Trinity 34-44, and Avery Harmon led the team with 11 of those points making every free throw he was given. After the half it looked like the Trojans were going to cruise to a 20-point victory, but the Titans fought hard. Led by Coach Scott Cooper, he pushed his point leaders to make the ranked team fight for the game.
Despite having a rough first half and a verbal warning from the refs, junior T.J. Benner stepped up and put some points on the board, going 5 for 5 at the line and 50 percent inside the arc. What was a 58-73 deficit with just under five minutes to go quickly turned into a 14-2 run for the Titans with just 1:55 to play in regulation.
The Titans couldn’t hold on, however, as they fell to the Trojans, 74-81. Avery, just like Benner, was perfect at the line and ended his night with 19 points overall, followed by Taylor Brooks with 11 points and 2 steals.
The women’s team, however, made an outstanding comeback against the Trojans of Trinity. Trying to get out of a slump having only 2 wins in their last 8 games, the Trojans had a target on their back.
The first quarter went well for the ladies as junior captain Brianna Blackwell and Loren Vukovits both scored points in the 19-14 advantage after ten minutes. The second and third quarter went in a different direction for the Titans as they trailed both quarters. Freshman Vicki Gard, however, continued to impress as the first half she scored 12 of the team’s 29 points individually, including one very impressive half court steal for a layup.
The second half went a little better as the fourth quarter put the women into overdrive, determined to get the W. IU South Bend was nearly perfect in the paint in the last 10 minutes of the game, missing only 2 of their shots, including an impressive steal by Blackwell that ended in another layup down the court.
But it was sophomore Lucy Presnal who stole the show when her last second layup tied the game at 51, putting the CCAC competitors into overtime. With only 5 minutes in overtime, the Titans stepped up their game and only allowed 6 points from the opposing team as Vukovits continued to impress with her offensive rebounds shots. Captain Paige Avery sealed the deal by going 2 for 2 at the line to end the comeback overtime win, 61-57.
The women move to 9-15 overall and 5-10 in CCAC.