By: CASEY McDONALD
With a new year comes more IU South Bend Basketball as the women’s team opened up the first matchup of the year in our double header against Cardinal Stritch University.
The Titans had a rough start to the game, but didn’t hesitate to push forward as sophomore Taylor Wesley led her team in the first half with 13 points, going 3-3 behind the arc and 5-6 in the paint.
IUSB fell behind early, but a three-point shot from sophomore Vicki Gard with 4:59 to go in the opening frame evened the game at 12. The Titans finished the quarter on a 10-2 run to boost its lead to 22-14 after 10 minutes of action.
Wesley gave the Titans their first double-digit lead of the night when she drained what would be one of many triples on the assist from freshman Taitlyn Trenshaw, putting IU South Bend up by 12 with less than two minutes to go. The Titans went into the locker room leading 41-35.
The intensity between these two teams never stopped as senior Jess Alexander kicked things off for the Titans to start the third quarter, followed by Gard, but the Wolves of Cardinal Stritch would start to gain momentum as a three-point shot brought them within three.
The usually dominant senior captain Paige Avery was not having a good night as she only added four points the entire game, and those only came in the first quarter.
The fourth and final quarter went back and forth, which also consisted of three ties and three lead changes. Sophomore Kyleigh Kubik would tie the score at 72 with two at the line, but the Wolves used a 7-0 run to take a 79-72 lead with 47 seconds on the clock.
That is when things got a little intense for this South Bend crowd as Kubik drained back-to-back threes to make it a one-possession game with 17 seconds left. IU South Bend forced the Wolves to turn the ball over on the inbound and got two looks from deep by Avery and Kubik to tie it but could not get it to go in.
Wesley would tie her career-high 21 points off the bench for the Titans as she went 5-6 from long range and 8-11 inside in the 81-78 loss. Kubik also had 20 points for the team with a team-high five assists.
The team is now 12-7 overall, and going 3-5 in the CCAC.