By CASEY McDONALD
Head Coach Steve Bruce and his Titans gave the fifteenth-ranked Purdue Northwest a run for their money when the two went head to head in Saturday’s afternoon IU South Bend double header.
IUSB showed intensity when they pulled out with a lead 20-12 early in the game. The Titans led most of the half as they went 50 percent in the paint and 82 percent at the line, but the Pride took the lead 37-35 going into the locker rooms at halftime.
The second half brought the battle when Purdue Northwest started gaining momentum until the Titans started draining some big shots to cut the deficit to four when captain Brianna Blackwell knocked down a solid three right in front of the home bench.
Even though Paige Avery scored the final points for the Titans, it wasn’t enough. They fell one layup short to the Pride, 73-75.
Avery ended her night with 20 points with six total assists, with Loren Vukovits and Vicki Gard following with 12 points each and 11 rebounds combined. The big three in the second half ended Brianna Blackwell with 14 points and three blocked shots.
On the men’s side of things, it was scoring-palooza with multiple players ending their nights in the double digits. The first half was nothing compared to the other night, as the Titans brought their A-game to the court against Purdue Northwest.
Going into the half the Titans led by 10 after the Pride went on a 10-4 run in the final minutes. The team was 55.6 percent in the paint, and the Pride only topped the Titans at the line.
Purdue Northwest fought hard trying to get back in the race to take the lead, but every time they did IU South Bend had an answer for them, going on a 5-0 run. Eventually, the Pride couldn’t hold the Titan offense as the team snapped a five-game losing streak to get the win, 75-70.
Avery Harmon’s slump that previous Wednesday game against Trinity Christian was a thing of the past as he once again topped the team with 16 points, four assists and a pair of steals. Following him was Taylor Brooks with 13 points and seven defensive rebounds.
In total there were five Titans in the double digits, as Myluv Sutton and T.J. Benner had 12 points each and Alex Harmon ended with 10.
There are only four more games left for each team this season, so the push toward the finish line has intensified.