Purdue Calumet Set for High-Scoring Showdown with Olivet Nazarene Wednesday

PUC-PeregrinsIn what's bound to be a high-scoring shootout, the No. 10 Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team will host the NAIA's top-scoring offense when the Olivet Nazarene University Tigers come to town Wednesday at the Fitness and Rec Center.

The Peregrines (4-1, 1-0 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference) face the Tigers (3-2, 0-0) beginning at 5 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team, which is set for a 7 p.m. start. Wednesday also marks the Peregrines 'Pack the Place' event, where fans are encouraged to wear black and the first 150 students in attendance will receive free Papa John's Pizza.

Purdue Calumet enters Wednesday’s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest fresh off a 4-1 start to open the 2014-15 campaign. The Peregrines have won their first three match-ups this season at the Fitness and Recreation Center, their last coming against rival Calumet College of St. Joseph in a 87-54 decision Nov. 5.

The Peregrines (4-1) sustained their first loss of the season to No. 19 Huntington University (4-1), who held a 45-33 advantage at the half and made the most damage at the foul line, making 33 of 37 (89.2 percent) shots compared to a 10 of 15 (66.7 percent) showing for Purdue Calumet. Junior Jada Buggs (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart) made 12 of 18 shots from the field for 26 points and added six rebounds and three assists, while junior post Patrice McBee (Monterey, Ind./Culver Community) was a stellar 10 of 13 from the field for 20 points, recording five boards.

The Peregrines swept Olivet Nazarene in three meetings in 2013-14, defeating the Tigers in both matchups during the regular season and an 87-77 victory in the CCAC Championship game at the FNRC. In 48 total meetings with the Tigers, the Peregrines have split the decisions with their league rival, making the overall record between the teams 24-24. The Black and Gold have won the last five meetings, with the Tigers winning their last match-up on Jan. 3 2013 in Bourbonnais.

With its' run and gun, full-court pressing style, Olivet Nazarene is the current NAIA Division II leader in scoring offense (117.0 points per game), steals per game (22.0), 3-point field goal makes per game (17.0), turnover margin (21.9) and offensive rebounds (27.8). Abby Hengesbach (28.8 ppg) is one of five Tiger players averaging double-figure scoring, joined by Kayla Krassman (15.0), Jayne Stuart (11.8), Ally Giampapa (10.6), and Kaira Barnes (10.4). Hengesbach ranks second in the country with her average.

Purdue Calumet opens the CCAC slate as the defending champions of both the regular-season and tournament league titles. The Peregrines finished 25-7 and 15-2 in CCAC play en route to their third-straight 20-victory season in 2013-14, capped by a run to the Sweet Sixteen of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Tournament.

Purdue Calumet opened the 2014-15 season in the No. 10 spot as decided by the NAIA Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Peregrines, who finished the 2013-14 season ranked No. 12 in the country after the squad’s berth in the NAIA Sweet 16, are one of two CCAC members in the poll, which also includes No. 6 St. Xavier and No. 12 Cardinal Stritch. Nonleague foes Huntington (No. 19) and St. Ambrose (No. 20) also made the poll, while CCAC members Robert Morris and Indiana South Bend each received votes.

Both games will be streamed live on the Peregrine Sports Network at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/puc/ and radio station WJOB 1230AM will also be on hand to broadcast both contests.