(Notre Dame, Ind.) Zoe Bauer's (Culver, Ind.) 15 first half points kept the Saints in the ball game as strong shooting down the stretch helped pick up their first home win in 2013 over Purdue North Central, 76-71 ending a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night.
The Saints found themselves trailing by as many as nine early in Tuesday night's game as missed shots were quickly capitalized by the Panthers. A Zoe Bauer three-pointer, followed by a Brandon Evans (Grand Rapids, Mich.) slam dunk gave the Saints their first lead of the ball game at 20-18.
With a lead by as many as four points, the Saints saw Purdue North Central continue to answer over the final six minutes.
Zoe Bauer was extremely effective in the first half hitting 6-of-8 from the floor including going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc for 15 first half points. The Saints shot just 41.7% (15-of-36) as a team and only found themselves trailing 37-36 at the break.
The Panthers were the aggressors early in the second half regaining an early five point lead. Five straight points from senior point guard Mike Vander Ploeg (Kalamazoo, Mich.) once again tied the game for the Saints.
Purdue North Central held the lead the majority of the second half until three-pointer by Dane Okuda (Huntington Beach, Cali.) at the 5:09 mark put the Saints in front with a 64-63 lead. The Saints would hold strong and extend their lead to as many as seven points before finishing with a 76-71 victory over the Panthers.
Despite David Kelly of Purdue North Central 30 points and grabbing 16 rebounds, the Saints collective effort in the second half helped will their way to their 10th victory of the season.
"I thought our execution struggled at times throughout the game but we had guys step up and hit big shots to keep us in it," said head coach Bob Schermerhorn. "Regardless of their record, this is a tough PNC team who plays extremely hard and has players who can beat you inside and out. It was big for us to get this win at home and end that three-game losing streak. We now have to get ready to face IUSB on Thursday."
Parker Dominguez (Santa Clarita, Cali.) was a monster on the glass for the Saints pulling down 15 rebounds (7 offensive rebounds) and scoring 10 points for a double-double. Mike Vander Ploeg once again was impressive at the point guard position dishing out 9 assists with only 1 turnover.
Zoe Bauer scored 15 points off the bench which all came in the first half.
The Saints were aggressive when forcing the Panthers into turnovers scoring 12 points off of the 10 turnovers. The 5 turnovers for the Saints were their lowest total of the season.
The Saints, 10-8 (6-7 CCAC), will return to action on Thursday night as they head across town to face fellow CCAC rival Indiana University-South Bend. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.