Despite a furious rally in the second half, the Purdue University Calumet men’s basketball team was unable to overcome an early deficit in a 63-58 league loss at Holy Cross College Wednesday.
The Peregrines (13-13, 8-8 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) trailed by as many as 14 early in the second half before slowly building a run that brought Purdue Calumet within one with 3:25 to play. But a Zoe Bauer three-point with less than two minutes to go swung the momentum back to the Saints (13-14, 7-9), who were able to come away with the home victory.
Junior Duron Ivery (South Bend, Ind./Washington) led the Peregrines with 12 points and senior Aaron Davis (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) added 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and a steal in the setback.
Purdue Calumet opened the game with a lead, jumping ahead by three, 7-4, on a Kaspars Brencans (Riga, Latvia/Florida Air Academy) bucket and the free throw with 15:34 to go before the break. The Saints would then enact a 11-0 run of their own to go up eight, 15-7.
An Ivery triple and layup and Noah Allen (Flora, Ind./Carroll) jumper helped bring the Peregrines back to one before Holy Cross went on another big run, this time 13-1, to push the lead to double digits and eventually head into halftime up 13, 37-24.
The Peregrines faced their largest deficit of 14 with 19:08 to go before making their comeback, first with a 5-0 run on a Davis layup, free throw and Dayvohn Braxton (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence) layup to cut the lead to nine where it would stay until the 10:12 mark with the Saints up, 49-39.
A Ryan Rader (Lombard, Ill./WIllowbrook) bucket in the paint keyed the Peregrines’ final run, followed by a Brencans’ layup and Darric Obinger (Munster, Ind./Calumet Christian) jumper to bring Purdue Calumet within four (49-45) before the media timeout.
Purdue Calumet got within one twice after that, the second time on two Ivery free throws with 4:30 left. Rader would then give the Peregrines their only lead of the half, 52-51, with 4:30 left in regulation before Holy Cross was able to hold on down the stretch.
Brencans finished with seven points and nine rebounds, Rader tallied nine points, and Obinger added eight points off the bench for the Peregrines, who shot 42.0 percent (21 of 50) from the field compared to 42.2 percent (19 of 45) for Holy Cross.
The Peregrines won the rebounding battle, 38-28, but finished just 3 of 11 from the 3-point line compared to 7 of 17 for the Saints.
Purdue Calumet returns to action Saturday, Feb. 14, when the Peregrines host St. Francis (Ill.) in the second game of a doubleheader with the women at the Fitness and Recreation Center. Game time for the men is set for 3 p.m. (CT).