Bourbonnais, Illinois - The Purdue University North Central Panthers battled the Olivet Nazarene University Tigers in a tight ball game tonight. The 7 point difference to close the game was the largest lead held by the Tigers this evening.
The Tigers (3-3) currently ranks 5th in the NAIA both in assists, and three-point field goals made. This was a hard fought battle that saw the lead change 8 times, and the score tied 6 times in the 71-64 defeat.
A quick start propelled the Panthers to an early 4 point lead at the 5:57 mark in the first half. Olivet Nazarene rallied to take a 6 point led at the break. This was due to the Tiger's strong inside presence, and ability to run the court for easy baskets.
The Panther's showed much improvement allowing 77 total points on the night. Coming into this game the PNC men's basketball team was giving up over 92 points per game. The Panther defense also held the Tiger's leading scorer Corey Hainlen (21.5 ppg, 18th in the NAIA) to 17 points in the ball game.
"We got better as a team tonight. We showed tremendous improvement on the defensive end against a very solid Olivet team," said Coach Schnatz.
The defense tightened up even more after halftime only allowing 31 points in the second half.
The difference in the game was in rebounds, and free throws. Olivet Nazarene out rebounded the Panthers 47-28. They also shot 17 more free-throws in the game going 15-21 good for 71.4%. And, the Panthers were a meager 2-4 for 50% from the charity stripe.
Jordan Wiseman got off to a nice start shooting the basketball going 6-12 from the three-point line, finishing the game with 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Jordan Delks finished with a game high 5 steals to go along with his 13 points, and 5 rebounds.
Matt Demler had a strong night on the glass leading the Panthers with 9 rebounds and added 9 points, 2 steals, and 1 assist.
Nick Neal had a team high 6 assists to go along with 7 points, and 4 rebounds.
Brad Parks chipped in 10 points, and 3 steals.
The Panthers are back on the court quickly this Thursday November 18 at 7pm versus NCAA Division I Valparaiso University (1-1) who is coming off a 35 point loss (79-44) to #7 Kansas.