By: CASEY McDONALD
The men’s Basketball team was back in action after the tough loss the women had just 30 minutes prior as they took the courts for warm-ups against Cardinal Stritch.
The Wolves were the first to score in the game, but it was senior Taylor Brooks with a jumper and block to start the momentum for the Titans. Brooks, who completed his second double-double of the year, would combine for 24 points and 11 rebounds as he helped the Titans to a victory.
In just six minutes, the Titans fought for a nice 17-point lead with 9:34 remaining in the first half after an impressive layup by freshman Norell Smith. The intensity between these two conference competitors would not fade, but the Wolves would take that and run with it as they came back and took off on a 13-0 run. A turnover and five consecutive missed shots would force Coach Cooper for a three-man substitution after the timeout.
A defensive rebound by senior Matt Bullinger and the assist by Brooks allowed freshman Dylan Allen to set up for a long-ranged three to end the streak.
With the Wolves getting the final shot in the half, the teams entered the locker rooms with IU South Bend up 37-28.
Senior Jeremy Jones started things off in the second half when he drained a three in the first minute and 30 seconds. He did not stop there. Jones stole the ball from the Wolves’ offense for the fast break and layup down the court for a double-digit lead.
Bullinger gave the Titans a 15-point lead at the 10:29 mark with his only bucket of the game, a triple from straight on, off the Brooks assist. Jones followed with a three, assist from sophomore Jackson Edwards, to give the Titans its largest lead of the game at 18 points.
Things got a little heated in the Student Activities Center when the Wolves went on a 14-3 run and made it a seven-point contest with 4:51 left in the game. With less than two minutes to play in regulation, it was a one-possession game the rest of the contest.
With a Cardinal Stritch three-pointer to make it a two point game, a foul on junior Rashaan Jackson sent him to the line for two. Even though he missed the first shot, with only one second remaining on the clock, it was not enough for the Wolves as the Titans claimed the conference victory.
Brooks would end the night with a game-high 24 points, three blocks and 11 rebounds, going 3-3 at the line 56 percent in the paint. Jones would finish with 19 points and a steal, while Jackson tallied 15 points and two steals.
The win handed the team their second conference victory of the season, 10-8 overall.