The Purdue University Calumet men’s basketball team pulled off the upset to defeat Saint Xavier University, 80-74, in a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tilt Wednesday at the Fitness and Rec Center.
Sophomore guard Darric Obinger (Munster, Ind./Calumet Christian) had a career night for the Peregrines, notching a career-best 19 points, while shooting a blistering 5-of-5 from beyond the arc. Senior Kaspars Brencans (Riga, Latvia/Florida Air Academy) scored 19 points on 7-of 10 shooting, while Aaron Davis (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) recorded 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead the Peregrines (11-12, 6-7) offensively.
Purdue Calumet stormed out of the gates to begin the half, starting the game off on a 13-5 run thanks to eight points by Brencans and the first of many 3-point field goals by Obinger. The Peregrines continued their offensive surge after two more trifectas from Obinger increased the Black and Gold’s advantage to 21-8 with just over 11 minutes left in the opening period.
St. Xavier (14-10, 8-6) would bounce back later in the half to trim the Peregrines lead to just eight points, 42-34, heading in to the break.
The Cougars took control to start the second half, thanks to multiple 3-point field goals by Kyle Huppe and Jack Krieger, which gave St. Xavier a 60-53 advantage, their first lead since the 18:41 mark early on in the contest.
St. Xavier would increase their lead late in the second half, 68-60, before the Peregrines would retaliate with a run of their own.
With just over three minutes remaining, the Black and Gold went on an 11-1 run led by Brencans and Obinger, to help regain the lead, 71-69, with 1:41 remaining.
The Peregrines shot 12-of-12 from the free-throw line in the second half, eight-of eight in the final two minutes of play, to help seal the victory over the Cougars.
Purdue Calumet finished the game shooting 55.6 percent from the field (30-54) compared to 51 percent (26-51) from St. Xavier. The Peregrines also posted a 36-20 advantage in the paint and outrebounded the Cougars 28-25, thanks to a season-high 15 rebounds by sophomore big man Danny Paschen (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central).
Junior center Andis Malahovskis (Cesis, Latvia/Cesis City) notched his best game since returning to the lineup three games ago after missing 14 due to injury, finishing with eight points.
The Peregrines return to action tomorrow, Feb.5, as they travel to LaPorte, Ind. to take on Purdue North Central in a CCAC game that was rescheduled earlier this season due to winter weather. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the LaPorte Civic Center.