HAMMOND, Ind. – The No. 16 Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team made a third-quarter surge to get within two points, but visiting No. 7 University of St. Francis (Ill.) pulled away late for a 76-60 league win Tuesday.
Senior Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) led the Peregrines (12-4, 5-3 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) with 17 points and 10 boards in her first double-double of the season and classmate Patrice McBee (Culver, Ind./Culver Community) added 14 points, four rebounds and four blocks en route to recording her 1,000th career point.
Junior Cassidy Deno (Otterbein, Ind./Benton Central) added 13 points and sophomore Katie Wampler (Scottsburg, Ind./Scottsburg) had eight points and a game-best 13 boards in the setback.
The Peregrines cut the Fighting Saints (14-1, 6-0) lead to 48-46 after two back-to-back McBee layups with 57 seconds left in the third, but that’s as close as the host would get to USF, who never trailed.
St. Francis opened the game on a 14-4 run, but Purdue Calumet fought back in the first frame behind a Buggs triple, Darien Thompson (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) steal and layup and a pair of Wampler free throws to make it 16-12 at the 3:12 mark. After the Saints ended the first quarter up, 20-17, they extended their lead back to 10, 29-19, after two fastbreak layups from Charnelle Reed and Kamari Jordan.
A Deno jumper stalled the run, as she went on to drain another shot in the paint and 3-pointer from the wing, setting up a McBee layup that cut the Saints’ lead back to just three, 31-28, with 3:39 left in the half. The Saints ended the second quarter on a 7-2 run to head into the locker room with a 38-30 lead.
In the third, McBee scored 10 of her 14th points to net 1,000 for her career, making her the 19th player in Purdue Calumet women’s basketball history to do so. She currently stands 19th with 1,003 points.
Two unanswered layups by the Saints’ Reed and Christina Ehkomu, however, ended the third and sent USF up, 52-46, with 10 minutes left. Alexis Brown opened the fourth quarter with a triple and Reed hit another jumper to push the advantage to 11, 57-46, as Purdue Calumet would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Reed finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Angelica Osusuky added 12 points to lead the Saints, who remain unbeaten in conference play.
Purdue Calumet shot just 38.6 percent (22-of-57) from the field for the game, compared to 44.6 percent (33-of-74) for St. Francis, who hit 9-of-27 (33.3 percent) from 3-point land compared to 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) shooting from downtown for the Peregrines.
The home team capitalized most from the free-throw line, hitting 14-of-18 (77.8 percent), compared to USF’s 1-of-5 performance at the stripe. Purdue Calumet also edged USF on the boards, 41-40, but committed 17 turnovers to the Saints’ nine.
The Peregrines' next matchup is set for Thursday in Notre Dame, Ind., when they take on CCAC foe Holy Cross College on the road.
Purdue Calumet returns to home Saturday, Jan. 9, when the Peregrines host another NAIA Top 20 matchup against No. 9 Cardinal Stritch. Game time is set for 1 p.m. CT at the Fitness and Recreation Center.