By: AUSTIN PARKS
On Nov. 6, the IU South Bend Titans men’s basketball team played their best game of the season and it was a thriller. Playing the undefeated IU Northwest Redhawks, the Titans had a lot to prove. The Titans delivered in crunch time, beating the Redhawks 102-99. This broke a three game losing skid for the Titans, against a team that was their biggest challenge to date.
“Overall it was great for us to get a win against a really good IUN team. That is far and away the most talented group that they have had there, and to beat an undefeated team the way we did was really good for our growth as a team,” said Coach Scott Hooper.
“I thought our offense was the best it has been all year. IUN is a really good defensive team, and to put up 102 points against them was no small thing. We did a really good job moving the ball, finding the open man, and staying aggressive while at the same time being patient,” said Hooper.
Some key factors for the Titans were their high scoring offense. The Titans shot at a high percentage, shooting 60.9 percent (39-64) and 50 percent (12-24) from threes. Big play from Norell Smith and Dylan Allen led the way. Norell Smith scored 22 points, shooting 9-for-12 from the field with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Dylan Allen scored 25 points shooting 8-for-14 with 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
Other key contributors for the Titans included Myles Simmons, Miles Tracy and Rashaan Jackson. All three players shot at a high percentage with a combined 42 points between them.
“I also have to give a lot of credit to some of our bench guys who have not received a lot of playing time to this point. Guys like Jackson Edwards, Rickey Bonds, Brady Powers, Javan Miller and Peyton Staples have done a great job lately of pushing our other players in practice, providing energy, helping our team stay focused on what is important in the game, and being ready to play when their number is called. We don’t get a win like that without contributions from all 15 guys on the roster in some way,” stated Hooper.
This game was a close contest all the way until the end. It featured nine lead changes between both teams. The largest lead of the game came early first half when the Titans led by 11 points after a quick offensive start scoring three, threes in a row.
In the second half no team led by more than five points.
In the last 30 seconds of the game, Myles Simmons came up clutch. He would hit a jumper with 22 seconds remaining to put the Titans up three points. The following possession the Redhawks made a layup bringing it to a one point game again.
Myles Simmons would be fouled, eventually making both free throws and re-establishing the three point lead. A missed three to tie it with time expiring concluded the game.