COURTESY OF IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS
HAMMOND, Ind.- Indiana University Kokomo men's basketball team finished the Purdue University Calumet Tip-off Classic with a 75-69 victory over the Indiana University Northwest RedHawks Saturday night.
"The team did a better job tonight executing the defensive principles with more intensity and that allowed us to get into more of a rhythm at both ends of the floor," said Kokomo coach Jace Thompson. "Overall it was a great team win with contributions coming from many different players."
The Cougars (2-1) jumped out to an early lead in the first half with back-to-back three point baskets by Nathaniel Carroll and Western graduate Brandon Larrick at the 16-minute mark to put the Cougars up 8-0 on Indiana University Northwest. IU Kokomo held IUN (1-2) scoreless for the first six minutes of the game. After the first media timeout at the 13-minute mark, Spencer Krhir hit a trey to extend the lead to 10 followed by another 3-point basket by Trent Murray to push the lead to 18-5.
Carroll hit back-to-back three point baskets with under seven minutes left in the half. IUN answered with their own three but Kokomo graudate Parker Salinas responded at the Cougar end to make the score 36-20 at the five minute mark. The Cougars went into the locker room with a 41-29 lead at the half.
Jacob Faust opened the second half for the Cougars with two points from the charity stripe followed by a basket down low to put the Cougars up 45-31. Another basket by Faust on the baseline had the Cougars up 47-31. Back to back baskets by the RedHawks cut the lead to 12 with 17 minutes remaining but the Cougars responded going on a 8-3 run to stretch the lead to 15 (58-43).
Teh RedHawks fought back and closed the gap to within 10 with 10 minutes left on the clock. The Cougars saw their lead chipped away and were only up 59-50 with less than nine minutes left in the game following an IUN basket. A basket by Salinas put the Cougars back up 11 with eight minutes left to play.
With less than six minutes left on the clock Krhin was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted two of three free throws to put the Cougars up 64-52. On the next trip down the floor Krhin added a layup to push the lead to 14.
The Cougar lead was cut to six (66-60) with three minutes to go in the game after an IUN basket off a baseline drive. But Jerome Campbell hit a jumper in the lane to put the lead back to eight with two minutes left. IUN and IUK traded baskets and with less than a minute the Cougars went to the line and knocked down five of eight attempts to seal the 75-69 win.
Faust finished with 18 points, five rebounds and earned All-Classic Team honors for the Cougars. IU Kokomo had three more Cougars reach double-digits on the evening with Carroll contributing 12, Salinas with 11, and Krhin added 10. Faust and Campbell grabbed five rebounds apiece for the Cougars.
IU Kokomo men's basketball travels to Calumet College of St. Joseph on Nov. 7 to face the Crimson Wave. Tip off is set for 8 p.m. EST. Live video is available online at http://kokomoperspective.com/video/, or for up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cougar Basketball on Twitter at @IUKBasketball. You can also find the Cougars on Facebook.