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Titans Hold Off Late Bellevue Comeback in Thanksgiving Classic

by | Nov 30, 2020 | Basketball Blogs | 0 comments

JOLIET, Ill. – The Indiana University South Bend men’s basketball team used a 51-point second half to outpace Bellevue (Neb.) 84-79, Sunday, Nov. 29 at the St. Francis (Ill.) Thanksgiving Classic. The Titans improved their record to 2-0 on the season after holding off a rally by the Bruins with under five minutes left.
The victory over the Bruins, who received votes in the Pre-Season NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Poll, is the 10th straight for IUSB as the streak dates back to Feb. 5.
IUSB built their lead by as many as 20 points in the second half behind strong shooting by senior Dylan Allen and juniors Donyell Meredith II and transfer Vashawn Sims. Despite missing on three free throws down the stretch, the Titans secured the win converting on 23-of-27 from the charity stripe on the day.
Allen tied a career-high 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line and Merdith added a career-high 21 points to lead the Titans in the scoring affair. Sims and sophomore Micah Pool also scored in double-figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Senior Norell Smith grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Titans, two of which came on the offensive side.
The Crimson and Cream shot 48.3 percent from the floor and 5-of-18 from behind the arc. Indiana University South Bend outrebounded Bellevue 35-32 with a 24-21 advantage in defensive rebounds. For second chance points, the Titans also held the 15-9 edge over the Bruins.
IU South Bend’s second game in the Thanksgiving Classic that was schedule to play Monday against East-West University has been canceled due to COVID-19 precautions. The Titans return to the hardwood Saturday, Dec. 5 in Gary, Ind. to face IU Northwest at 3 p.m. ET.