The Purdue University Calumet men’s basketball team erased a 14-point second half deficit and enacted its second-straight comeback in as many days to defeat league rival Purdue North Central 59-55 Thursday night on the road.
The Peregrines (12-12, 7-7 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) picked up their second-straight league win after beating Saint Xavier 80-74 Wednesday night despite trailing by eight with less than four minutes to play.
Purdue Calumet’s seniors led the way Thursday, as Kaspars Brencans (Riga, Latvia/Florida Air Academy) finished with 19 points and seven board, classmate Aaron Davis (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) added 18 points, five assists and five boards and Noah Allen (Flora, Ind./Carroll) had 13 points, four assists, and three steals.
With 9:37 to play, Purdue Calumet trailed, 45-31, play after a low-scoring first half saw the Panthers (8-18, 4-11) take a 21-19 lead heading into the break. A Darric Obinger (Munster, Ind./Calumet Christian) 3-pointer cut that lead to 11, but PNC was able to keep the lead at nine, 51-42, with just over five minutes left.
That’s when the Peregrines began to make their move, first on a three-point play the old-fashioned way by Davis, followed by two free throws by the senior that cut the lead to four, 51-47, with 3:29 left. Two PNC free throws gave the Panthers a six-point advantage with 3:02 left, but the Peregrines would score the next nine points of the game to storm back and take a three-point lead, 56-53, with 25 seconds to play.
During the run, Brencans drained two free throws, Davis drilled a triple, and Allen snagged a steal and made the ensuring layup before junior Duron Ivery (South Bend, Ind./Washington) capped the surge with two more makes from the charity stripe.
PNC would cut the lead to one (56-55) on a Kortez Ross jumper, but the Peregrines would make 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch – including two Allen makes with four seconds left to seal it – to preserve the win.
Purdue Calumet made 10 of 13 shots from the foul line for the game and shot 39.0 percent (23 of 59) from the field, compared to 34.5 percent (20 of 58) for the Panthers. The Peregrines also won the battle on the boards, 42-35, led by sophomore Danny Paschen’s (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) 10 rebounds.
Clarence Heath led the Panthers with 14 points and Cyril Lewis added 12 points to lead Purdue North Central in the setback.
The Peregrines return to action Saturday, Feb. 7, when they host Indiana South Bend in the second game of a doubleheader at the Fitness and Recreation Center at approximately 3 p.m. Saturday is also Kids Day, sponsored by McDonald’s. All kids 18 and under are free as Purdue Calumet gives away free t-shirts in addition to bounce houses, face-painting, a free autograph poster session, a show by Ronald McDonald and friends, and more. The event begins at 1 p.m. with the start of the women’s game.