IUSB Men’s Hoops Claims First CCAC Tournament Championship in Thrilling Fashion
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The Indiana University South Bend men’s basketball team claimed its first Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship Monday night, March 2, with a thrilling 91-86 overtime victory at top-seeded and No. 4 Olivet Nazarene. The Titans rallied from nine down with 48.8 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, knocking off its second top-10 opponent in four days and earning a trip to the NAIA DII Tournament.
With just 48.8 ticks left in regulation, the Titans rattled off nine straight points that was highlighted by a pair of steals and converted layups off a fould from senior Kourtlandt Martin. Olivet Nazaraene responded immediately after as Dane Schafley drilled a long-distance shot to regain the three-point lead at 82-79.
In IU South Bend’s final possession of regulation, junior guard Dylan Allen dribbled the length of the floor in 3.5 seconds off the ensuing inbounds and sank the game-tying buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the CCAC title game into overtime.
Allen and the rest of the Titans rode the momentum in overtime as the guard got IUSB on the board first with a pair of free throws with 3:56 left to go. IUSB held the nationally ranked Tigers to just four points in overtime that came at the hands of Nic Reed’s freebies. Senior Miguel Mahan converted the only field goal during the extra period at 2:05 as IU South Bend led 88-84 to help seal the eighth straight victory for the Titans.
Martin and Allen combined to score 50 of IUSB’s 91 points. Martin dropped a game-high 29 points, dished out a team-high five assists and added five rebounds and two critical steals. Allen went 7-of-15 from the floor while going 3-of-5 from three-point range and finished with 21 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds.
Mahan and sophomore Miles Tracy also finished in double figures, scoring 11 and 10 respectively. Mahan came off the bench to reject a team-high three blocks and grabbed five rebounds while Tracy dished out three assists and notched two rebounds.
Olivet Nazarene led by as many as 10 in the first period, jumping out to a 26-16 lead early on. IUSB battled back to pull within three at the end of the first half of play. The Titans refused to let up, pulling within one, 65-64, of the Tigers at the 6:43 second half mark before ONU went on a 14-4 run in just four minutes. Allen got the offense rolling again with a layup at 2:06 that sparked the unbelievable comeback.
The Titans finished the game shooting 43.8 percent (32-of-73) from the floor, 37.5 (9-of-24) from three-point land and just 58.1 (18-of-31) on free throws. IUSB forced 13 turnovers on nine steals and outscored ONU in bench points 24-5.
The Tigers shot 39 percent (30-of-77) from the field, 29.6 percent (8-of-27) on three-points and 81.8 percent (18-of-22) from the charity stripe. Olivet Nazarene held a commanding 55-33 advantage over IU South Bend in rebounding for the game.
With the victory, IUSB improves to 25-8 overall and handed Olivet Nazarene its first loss at home this season as the Tigers drop to 30-3 overall.
IUSB will learn its NAIA DII Tournament fate Wednesday, March 4. The selection show is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EST) and can be viewed here.