A free throw by sophomore Lukas Vilkovsky (Kosice, Slovakia/Get Better Academy) with less than a second to play helped seal the deal as the Purdue Northwest men’s basketball team made history Saturday capturing its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win, 55-52, over Northwood University (Mich.) at H.D. Kesling Gymnasium in the James B. Dworkin Complex in Westville, Ind. Senior Tyree Coe (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) led the Pride with a game-best 17 points shooting an impressive 7-for-12 from the field in the victory.
Senior Torrance Johnson (Chicago Heights, Ill./Chicago Hope Academy) played a huge role as well finishing with 15 points and game-leading 11 rebounds to aid the cause. Freshman Richard Robertson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) also scored in double figures Saturday with 11 points, while junior Chris Nunn (Anderson, Ind./Liberty Christian) added seven points and five steals.
The game went back-and-forth over the first eight minutes of action with a lay-up by Coe putting the Pride up, 10-9. The Timberwolves fought back and built a 20-14 edge with 6:22 remaining in the half before three-pointers by Coe and Richardson helped bring PNW back to within two, 22-20. Purdue Northwest closed the half on a high note with a lay-up by Coe putting the hosts up, 27-26, at the break.
Vilkovsky made a lay-up early in the second half to push the Pride lead to six, 36-30, with 15:19 remaining in regulation. PNW stayed in front over the game’s next 10 minutes and a lay-up by Johnson with just under five minutes left to play extended the advantage to eight, 47-39. With less than two minutes remaining, Nunn hit a free throw to put the Pride up, 53-45.
However, NU made things interesting down the stretch scoring five points over the game’s next 30 seconds to close the gap to three, 53-50. A free throw by Johnson and another by Vilkovsky proved instrumental in the closing seconds as PNW held on to capture the program’s first victory since starting play at the NCAA Division II level.
Purdue Northwest (1-14 overall/1-6 GLIAC) heads to Tiffin, Ohio, on Thursday, January 11, for a GLIAC road battle with Tiffin University. The conference game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. CT tip-off at the Heminger Center in Tiffin, Ohio.
To view the box score from today's game online, please click here!