HAMMOND, Ind. - The HU women’s basketball team survived a late Peregrine surge to escape the Fitness & Recreation Center with a 79-73 win over #RV Purdue Calumet (10-4) Friday night to break the hosts’ four game win-streak.
With this win, Huntington improves to 10-3 on the season and owns a 12-5 lead in the all-time series against the Peregrines.
The final six minutes seemed like an eternity for the Forester fans as they watched their team’s 16 point advantage dwindle to four with 30 ticks remaining. After enjoying the largest lead of the contest, 71-52, with just over ten minutes remaining, Huntington’s offense left the building as they only managed eight points, all from Courtney Baker, the rest of the way.
Thankfully Purdue Calumet hit a dry stretch too as neither team scored for a three-minute span before the Peregrines began chipping away at the lead before running out of time.
Amelia Recker led a balanced HU attack with 18 points as all five Huntington starters finished in double digits. Baker and Pazia Speed added 16 and 13 points respectively while Kelsey Hubble tossed in 12 and Jaclene Bonnema finished with a career-best ten points. Bonnema also made her presence known in the paint by swatting a career-high five shots to go along with eight rebounds. Recker enjoyed game-high rebounding honors with nine.
HU shot an impressive 55.9 percent from the field (33-for-59) while limiting the Peregrines to just 33.8 percent (23-for-68) on the night.
There didn’t seem to be much rust to shake off from the week-long break as Coach Culler’s squad came screaming out of the gates to take a double digit lead within the first seven minutes of play. The Foresters knocked down nine of their first 13 shots to race out to a 20-10 lead by the 12:44 mark with Bonnema and Baker tossing in six points apiece.
Behind ten first half points from Hubble, the Foresters built a 15-point cushion by the 6:25 mark before Purdue Calumet closed out the period with a 12-5 run to trim the lead to 44-36 by intermission.
The second half started out much like the first as HU sizzled the nets by going 7-for-11 in the opening five minutes to build the lead to 13 at 58-45 but this time is was Recker leading the charge as she accounted for ten of her team’s first 12 points. Huntington spent the next five minutes building the lead to 19 before Purdue Calumet’s near-heroic finish.
The Peregrines were paced by Brooklyn Short who finished with 19 points followed by Kami Graber with 15, Tierra Turner with 14 and Cassidy Deno with 10.
Huntington is back in action Saturday when they face the University of Saint Francis (Ill.) at 1:00 p.m. CST.