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Thursday, January 13th, 2011 - 10:27 am

Women’s Basketball Update

Women’s BB team positioning itself
for impressive stretch run

By KERRY MITCHELL
Kerry Mitchell is a local sports correspondent who frequently covers Purdue Calumet athletics.

The Purdue Calumet Lady Peregrines roster is an eclectic mix of local players and those who may have had to look at a map to find where Hammond is located.

Players from Merrillville and Lake Central have met players from Plymouth and Mishawaka, and once they all got to know each other the results have been a pleasant surprise to veteran coach Tom Megyesi.

“These girls are all good workers who take it upon themselves to work at their games and to improve,” he said. “We are starting to play good team defense, and once the post-season tournament starts, I think we will make a move.”

Megyesi’s squad enjoyed some good wins during the first half of the current season, including a 20-point verdict over Goshen. But, one of the signature moments of the season came in a 100-94 loss at Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Division I Olivet Nazarene. Last season, the Peregrines lost by 50 to Olivet Nazarene, so slicing 44 points off the margin is a huge step forward.

“We never like to lose but if there is anything as a moral victory, that was one of them,” Megyesi said. “In the past they always beat us pretty good, but this time we were right there and could have won the game. I think that game shows as well as any we have had all season that we are heading in the right direction.”

Tierra Turner
At midseason, Turner led her team in scoring, rebounding, assists and minutes played.

Purdue Calumet has had contributions from many sources. Sophomore guard Tierra Turner from Merrillville is emerging as a real force with team-leading totals at midseason in scoring, assists, rebounding and minutes played.

“Tierra is a great player, but most of all she is a real team player,” Megyesi said. “We knew she could be a good scorer, but her rebounding totals are really impressive. She knows how to get good position under the boards, and she knows how to find teammates who are in a better position to shoot. Her overall game has improved, and I think she will get nothing but better.”

Stephanie Beck (Mishawaka) and Alex Starr (Plymouth) are averaging in double figures, while seniors MeMe Harris (Merrillville) and Jennifer Britton (Lake Central) are enjoying solid seasons.

Purdue Calumet is looking to get the all-important first round home game in the CCAC Division II postseason tournament. A veteran coach like Megyesi knows that anything can happen during the tournament, the champion of which earns a berth in the national NAIA D-II tournament.

“We know that getting a home court game in the first game is important,” Megyesi said. “If we get past that one, then we know that anything can happen. The conference is tough and balanced, and getting your team focused is not a real challenge. Not with this team. They are a terrific group of ladies. The arrow here is pointing p.”

For more about Purdue Calumet women’s basketball, visit http://webs.purduecal.edu/basketballwomen/.