Johnson Tough; Purdue Northwest Falls in Classic to Maryville, 90-76
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Senior Torrance Johnson (Chicago Heights, Ill./Chicago Hope Academy) led all scorers with 23 points, but the Purdue Northwest men’s basketball team dropped its opening game of the Maryville Classic Monday afternoon falling to host Maryville (Mo.), 90-76, at Moloney Arena in St. Louis, Mo. The Pride tied the non-conference game at 40-40 early in the second half, but were unable to take a lead after halftime and the Saints used a 19-9 run over the last five minutes of regulation to secure the victory.
Junior Chris Nunn (Anderson, Ind./Anderson) also had a nice outing for PNW finishing with 17 points, seven assists and three steals. Senior Tyree Coe (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) added 13 points, while sophomore Lukas Vilkovsky (Kosice, Slovakia/Business Academy) contributed 12 points and five rebounds. Maryville shot well from the field connecting on 56 percent (32-for-57) of its shot attempts from the floor.
A lay-up by Johnson early in the first half gave Purdue Northwest a 9-8 lead. The game stayed close and a three-pointer by Coe at the 13:01 mark of the first half put the Pride up three, 19-16. However, the Saints responded with a 16-4 surge that gave the hosts a 32-23 edge. PNW finished the first half strong and drew to within three, 38-35, on a lay-up by Nunn with less than a minute to play in the half.
After trailing by five (40-35) at the break, Johnson scored on back-to-back possessions to help the Pride tie the game at 40-40 early in the second half. Unfortunately for PNW, Maryville got hot offensively and used a 14-4 run midway through the period to build a double-digit advantage. Johnson converted on a lay-up with just under five minutes left to play in the game to trim the deficit to four, 69-64, but the Saints caught fire again down the stretch to pick up their eighth win of the season (8-2).
Purdue Northwest (0-11 overall/0-5 GLIAC) wraps up play in the Maryville Classic on Tuesday, December 19, with a game against Missouri-St. Louis. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Moloney Arena in St. Louis.