Purdue University Northwest Sports Update, December 13, 2016

By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: December 13, 2016

PNW-Hoops-Drops-Road-Contest-to-Robert-MorrisPNW Hoops Drops Road Contest to Robert Morris
The Purdue University Northwest men’s basketball team dropped a 90-88 decision to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent Robert Morris University Saturday afternoon.

The Pride (4-8, 3-4 CCAC) took a late lead in the second half, but the Eagles (6-4, 4-0) would rally back late in the contest to pick up the win.

Senior Mike Williams (Gary, Ind./Lew Wallace) led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting while Chandler Spring (Covington, Ind./Covington) and Torrance Johnson (Chicago Heights, Ill/Chicago Hope Academy) each chipped in with 18 points.

Tyree Coe (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) registered 17 points and Max Clifford (Franklin, Ind./Roncalli) scored eight points including a pair of late trifectas to lead the Pride offensively.

After a three-point field goal by Spring but the Pride up 14-10 midway through the opening half, the Eagles would even the score at 24 points apiece with 7:10 remaining.

The Pride would retake the lead toward the end up the period, but a trifecta from Darius Paul with just would knot the game at 40-40 sending in in to the break.

With just over five minutes remaining in the game, a layup from Johnson put the black and Gold ahead 70-68.

Both teams would trade baskets until the 1:17 mark, when a three pointer from Darius Randolph put RMU ahead 83-79.

The Pride would keep fighting for the remainder of the game, answering the made baskets from the Eagles, but clutch free throw shooting down the stretch helped seal the game for RMU.

Purdue Northwest shot 49.2 percent from the field compared to 48.4 percent from RMU, while the Eagles won the battle on the boards 36-32.

The Black and Gold return to action Saturday, Dec. 17, when they host Judson University in a CCAC contest at the Student Services and Recreation Center in Westville, Ind. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. (CT).

Thompson, Deno Lead PNW Past RMU, 61-52
The No. 15 Purdue University Northwest women’s basketball team held off Robert Morris Illinois to remain unbeaten in league play with Saturday’s 61-52 road win.

Seniors Darien Thompson (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) and Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) led the way for PNW (11-3, 7-0 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference), scoring 23 and 16 points, respectively.

The Pride overcame a tough shooting performance (32.7 percent) from the field by making 28-of-36 (77.8 percent) of their shots from the charity stripe, led by Thompson’s near-perfect 15-of-16 makes at the line.

PNW stood tied with Robert Morris (0-10, 0-4), 23-23, at halftime, but were able to build a 43-36 lead at the end of three quarters. Thompson had 12 of 23 points in that frame, making all eight of her free throws and hitting two shots from the field.

The Pride would lead by as many as 13, 51-38, with 5:45 left in the game after a Deno three-point play. The closest Robert Morris would get after that was seven, 59-52, with 55 seconds left, but Thompson would seal the victory with a jumper late.

Freshman Shae Rhonehouse (Fremont, Ind./Fremont) added nine points and sophomore Michaela Kikendall (Morristown, Ind./Morristown) added six points. Junior post Ellie Michalski (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) led the Pride on the boards with eight.

RMU outrebounded the Pride, 43-35, but PNW scored 16 points off 16 Eagle turnovers while committing just 10 giveaways of its own.

Robert Morris finished the game shooting just 27.7 percent (18-of-65) from the field and reached the free-throw line 14 times, making 11.

Victoria Harris led the Eagles with 15 points and Jannah Mahmoud added 12 points in the loss.

Purdue Northwest returns to action Saturday, Dec. 17, when the Pride host Judson University in a CCAC contest in Westville. Game time at the James B. Dworkin Center is set for 1 p.m. CT.

Austin Warner Picked to Lead Purdue Northwest Cross Country Programs
Purdue University Northwest Athletic Director Rick Costello has announced the hiring of Austin Warner to lead the Pride men’s and women’s cross country programs.

Warner, a native of Dyer, Ind., comes to PNW after serving as an assistant coach for the NCAA Division II Nova Southeastern University (Fla.) cross country and track and field programs for the last four seasons.

“We are excited to have Austin lead our cross country programs as we transition into NCAA Division II and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition next fall,” Costello said. “Austin’s experience in Division II, his enthusiasm for the sport and his ties to Northwest Indiana were all reasons why we believe Austin will be an outstanding coach at PNW.”

At Nova Southeastern, Warner assisted both the men’s and women’s cross country programs to the NCAA National Championships in addition to coaching two individual qualifiers. In cross country, he helped guide 15 student-athletes to NCAA All-South Region honors and both teams showed success in the classroom, earning USTFCCAA All-Academic Team awards for posting overall team grade point averages of 3.15. USA Track and Field Level 1 certified, Warner was named the 2016 NCAA Division II Men’s Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year in the South Region.

“I am thrilled and thankful to Rick Costello and the entire search committee for the opportunity to return to the Region and lead the men’s and women’s cross country programs at Purdue Northwest,” Warner said. “I am eager to prepare and build the programs for NCAA Division II competition and develop the student-athletes both on the cross country course and in the classroom.”

Prior to NSU, Warner served as an assistant for the men’s and women’s cross country programs at Division II Hawaii Pacific in 2012, where in addition to his team duties, he served as the meet manager for the PacWest Conference Championships and the NCAA Division II Regional meet.

Warner was a three-time NAIA national qualifier in cross country and four-time qualifier in track and field at Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference member Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in sport and exercise studies at Trinity Christian and recently attained a master’s of education in athletic administration from Nova Southeastern.

Purdue Northwest's Gabrielle Martin Named NAIA Scholar-Athlete
Purdue University Northwest junior volleyball standout Gabrielle Martin was tabbed a Daktronics NAIA Scholar Athlete, joining 481 volleyball student-athletes to earn the honor, as announced by the organization recently.

Martin (DeMotte,Ind./Kankakee Valley) earned the first Scholar-Athlete honor of her career, adding to her impressive award resume this season. The outside hitter also received the first all-region honor in Pride volleyball program history with her honorable mention selection on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) NAIA MidEast all-region team and was named first-team all-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The junior finished the season with 458 kills on the year, and became a member of the 1,000-kill club back in October. Martin started 31 of 33 matches for PNW, hitting .224 in overall play to go along with 267 digs (2.19 per set), 39 service aces and 41 total blocks.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

Martin, majoring in communication, carries a 3.91 grade point average.