TIFFIN, OHIO – The Purdue Northwest men’s basketball team withstood a late rally and an extra period to overtake the Urbana Blue Knights 110-104 at the Tiffin Thanksgiving Tournament. Dean Tate (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central) continued his impressive start to the season as he dazzled with 25 points, six assists, and five rebounds.
Purdue Northwest jumped out to an early lead as tough shots continued to fall early, but Urbana continued to hang around. PNW took a one-point lead into the half, as Tate and Tim Gilmore (Lancaster, Calif./Antelope Valley CC) both finished the first 20 minutes with 10 points. Despite Urbana shooting over 60%, the Black and Gold made just enough plays to take a 50-49 lead into the break.
The second half continued the torrid scoring pace, as each team ended up topping the 100-point mark, the second time in as many games Purdue Northwest has been able to score in the triple digits. All in all, six players put up double figures for the second consecutive game. Tate and Gilmore finished with 25 and 19 respectively, but freshman Anthony Barnard (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) was a force inside with 18 points and nine rebounds. Chase Rankin (Columbus, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln) chipped in 15, including seven of eight from the free throw line, while Rich Robertson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) and Durante Lee (Gary, Ind./IU Kokomo) each put up 11 points.
In a game with a litany of lead changes, the Pride took a commanding 90-82 lead with just under four minutes on a Gilmore three-pointer, forcing a Blue Knight timeout. Urbana persevered and connected on a game-tying three from Ethan Snapp to tie the game at 93 with three seconds remaining. Durante Lee was fouled on the Pride’s final possession but was unable to connect on a pair of free throws, sending the game to an extra period.
It was the first overtime contest for the Pride since Dec. 21, 2016 when the Pride took down Ave Maria College 90-80 at the Keiser University Tournament. Dean Tate got PNW an early edge as he buried threes on each of the first two possessions in OT, giving the Pride a 99-93 lead. Coach Roberts had his defense clamp down and the Black and Gold were able to come away with a 110-104 victory, Roberts’ second as head coach of the Pride.
The key for PNW all day was taking advantage of mistakes as they forced 15 steals and ended with 32 points off turnovers to the Blue Knights’ 11. And despite being outrebounded, the Pride hustled its way to 17 second chance points compared to just nine for Urbana.
Purdue Northwest Head Coach Boomer Roberts
"This game gave our young team a great opportunity to grow, and our guys stepped up to the challenge. Everybody competed, but I thought our freshmen, specifically Dean, AB, and Chase made big plays in a game that was back and forth. Timmy, Rich, Tae, and Scho also played well. Our guys kept their composure when we headed to OT, and we stayed together rather than folding. We still need to improve in a lot of areas, and we’ll see how tough we are in a quick turnaround against a physical Tiffin team in their gym tomorrow."