KOKOMO, Ind . – The IU Kokomo men’s basketball team cruised past Carlow University with a final score of 92-72 in a Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play while the Cougar women fell 73-62. The Cougar men opened the game strong with 2-point shots from Jerome Campbell and Micah Pier and a three-point bucket from Christian Smith to take a 7-0 lead. The men’s team didn’t slow down as David Kelly and Nick Teeter both hit a 3-point shot to keep the Cougars up 35-26. Soon after, Micah Pier and Kelly both added buckets for a 41-26 lead. The Cougars finished the first half strong, maintaining a 45-31 lead and at one point had hit eight of its first 11 3-point attempts.
The Cougars remained on top the entire second half. Devon Burton finished the game with a 3-point shot to put the Cougars up 92-72.
“I thought it was a great bounce back win,” said IUK head coach Jace Thompson. “We played tough after a tough loss Thursday and I was glad to see us respond to a team that’s been playing well. We got a great effort from Nick Teeter, Trent Elliot, and Micah Pier. They all set the tone from the beginning and everyone else followed with great performances.”
The men’s team shot 93.3 percent from the free-throw line and 48.3 percent from the 3-point range. The Cougars tied the school record with 14 three-pointers, which was set against Brescia last February.
Teeter led the Cougars with 22 points on 7 for 9 shooting (4 for 5 from beyond the arc); he added seven assists. Elliot added 17 points, Kelly 14 and Pier 12.
The Cougar men are now 8-19 overall and 4-10 in the KIAC – they have also won three of its last four outings.
The Cougars women trailed the Celtics 14-12 at the end of the first quarter but outscored the Celtics in the second and third quarters. The Celtics held the lead early in the second until Whitney Williamson tied the game at 33 with 14 seconds left. Williamson was still on fire in the third quarter with a 2-point and 3-point shot to put the Cougars up 44-41. The women’s team finished the third quarter with a 51-49 lead. After a hard fought game and battling for points in the fourth quarter, the Cougars couldn’t hold on to the lead.
Williamson led the Cougars with 23 points and six rebounds. Catera Stevenson added 13 points and four rebounds. Deja Felder scored 10 points and had five assists, Dejianna Butler scored 10 and snatched 12 rebounds and Tabitha DeWitt grabbed five rebounds. The women’s team shot 80 percent from the free-throw line and 43.6 percent from the field and out rebounded the Celtics 38-30. They are now 9-18 overall for the season and 4-12 in the KIAC.
Cougars fall to IU East
Earlier in the week, the Cougar men and women both fell to Indiana University East, 77-68 and 87-45, respectively.
In the men’s game, IU East created a 38-22 halftime advantage, but the Cougars never gave up. The Cougars outscored the Red Wolves 46-39 in the second half, although the come-back attempt fell short. Huge 3-point shots from Devon Burton and Elliot put the Cougars within 10 at 68-58. With 35 seconds to go in the game, Kelly hit a basket and a free throw to trim the deficit to 72-66. The Red Wolves were able to finish the game with free throws that put them up 77-68 at the end of the game.
“This was a tough loss and we dug ourselves in a big hole,” says head coach Thompson. “I am really proud of the way we fought back and almost stole it at the end. Devon and Beau were huge coming into the game and giving us that spark. Really proud of the way they continued to fight.”
Played in front of a sell-out crowd, the game also marked the final appearance in the Cougar Gym for IU East senior and Kokomo High School graduate Parker Salinas. The former Wildkat led the Red Wolves with 19 points. Salinas has scored in double-digits in 11 of his last 13 games, including a season high 25 against Ohio Christian and Brescia.
Elliot scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Cougars while Kelly added 16 points and snatched eight rebounds.
In the women’s loss, two players scored in double figures against IU East: Stevenson led the Cougars in points with 14 while Felder scored 12.
Both squads travel to West Virginia Institute of Technology on Feb. 16.
Courtesy of Rachel Allen/IU Kokomo and Sports Journal staff