HAMMOND, Ind. -- The Purdue University Calumet women's basketball team opens its official Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference season tonight when the No. 10 Peregrines play host to crosstown rival Calumet College of St. Joseph.
Purdue Calumet (2-0, 0-0) will take on the Crimson Wave (2-0, 0-0) beginning at 7 p.m. at the Fitness and Recreation Center.
LAST TIME OUT: The Peregrines swept its opponents in the annual Tip-Off Classic Oct. 31-Nov. 1, defeating Viterbo 107-49. Four players reached double-figures in that contest, led by Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) with 23 points and Stephanie Balon (Wanatah, Ind./South Central) with a career-high 21 points on 5 of 6 shooting from behind the arc. Saturday, the Peregrines held off a gritty Marian (Ind.) team, coming back from a halftime deficit to win, 68-65. Deno drained four free throws in the final minute and junior Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart) led the way with 21 points. Buggs, a transfer from NCAA Division I Northern Illinois, averaged 20 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in her two-game debut for the Peregrines.
INSIDE THE RANKINGS: Purdue Calumet opened the 2014-15 season in the No. 10 spot as decided by the NAIA Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Peregrines, who finished the 2013-14 season ranked No. 12 in the country after the squad’s berth in the NAIA Sweet 16, are one of two CCAC members in the poll, which also includes No. 6 St. Xavier and No. 12 Cardinal Stritch. Nonleague foes Huntington (No. 19) and St. Ambrose (No. 20) also made the poll, while CCAC members Robert Morris and Indiana South Bend each received votes.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON WAVE: Calumet St. Joseph enters Wednesday’s game with a 2-0 overall record after defeating Aquinas College 64-49 Oct. 29 and picking up a forfeit victory over Benedictine Springfield. Dariyan Morris and Latoi Merriweather each scored 19 points in the victory over Aquinas.
SERIES HISTORY: The Peregrines swept Calumet College of St. Joseph in their two meetings in 2013-14, defeating the Crimson Wave 86-81 in overtime and 87-80 at the FNRC. In 23 total meetings with the Crimson Wave, the Peregrines have won 19, including the last six contests. Calumet College’s last victory came during the 2010-11 season.
TITLE DEFENDERS: Purdue Calumet opens the CCAC slate as the defending champions of both the regular-season and tournament league titles. The Peregrines finished 25-7 and 15-2 in CCAC play en route to their third-straight 20-victory season in 2013-14, capped by a run to the Sweet Sixteen of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament.