Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 - 11:19 pm

Fast Start Lifts Peregrines Past Siena Heights

HAMMOND, Ind. – The Purdue University Calumet women’s basketball team claimed its third-straight victory, defeating nationally-recognized Siena Heights, 89-74, in the Fitness and Recreation Center on Tuesday night. The Peregrines push their record to 11-4 overall, while improving to 6-2 at home this season.

The Black and Gold raced out the gates thanks to a dominant defensive effort in the first 10 minutes. Purdue Calumet held the Saints to 15.8 percent shooting while forcing nine turnovers in that span en route to a commanding 24-6 lead. PUC pushed its lead to 24 points on Stephaine Beck’s jumper with six minutes remaining in the half, before taking a 40-22 advantage at the break.

The Peregrines maintained a double-digit lead throughout the rest of the game, cruising to its second-straight win over a nationally-recognized opponent. Purdue Calumet won the game at the charity stripe, outscoring SHU 38-12 at the line. PUC finished with 41.5 percent shooting, while Saints knocked down 60 percent of their shots from the field in the final stanza on their way to a 43.9 field goal percentage.

Alex Starr led all players with 22 points, connecting on 11-of-13 from the free throw line. Quinci Eller added a career-high 21 points on a blistering 4-of-5 shooting from downtown, while Beck joined them in double-figures with 11 points on the night. Kami Graber and Brooklyn Short each dished out five assists to lead all players.

Purdue Calumet will have a short turnaround, facing another team that is receiving votes in the NAIA Div. II Coaches’ Poll when St. Francis (Ind.) comes to town this Thursday, December 20. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.