Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Sports

December 8, 2012

IU Kokomo beats PNC for happy homecoming

Cougars grab control with 12-4 run at start of second half.

Although in its second year of existence, in a lot of ways, the Indiana University Kokomo men’s basketball team is still in its infancy.

The Cougars feature 10 new faces in their regular lineup. The top three returners are developing in completely different roles than last year. IUK is in its first season in the NAIA. And, the Cougars are playing in a new home venue, Kokomo High School.

For the first time this season, coach Jace Thompson saw the members of his team truly settle into and embrace their roles in an 81-76 victory over Purdue North Central on Saturday, making for a happy homecoming day for IUK.

“You see guys who are playing with energy and are committed to executing what we set out to in practice during the week,” Thompson said. “Everybody on this team is either new or in a new role, so you saw some of them struggle to start the year because I was still trying to figure out how to put them in the best position. They’re starting to understand what I want from them, and I’m starting to do a better job of putting them in positions in which they can succeed.”

The Cougars (4-6) trailed by four at the half, 43-39, but ignited for 12-4 run to start the second half to take a 51-47 lead with 15 minutes to play, and never trailed again.

IUK led by as many as nine with seven minutes to play, but the Panthers (3-8) cut the lead down to one at 69-68 with 3:45 to play after the Cougars coughed the ball up against PNC’s press.

Panthers leading scorer David Kelly fouled out 45 seconds later, however, and a pair of post buckets by Joby Renbarger helped IUK     stretch the lead back out to six at 76-70 with two minutes to play.

The Cougars were able to hold PNC off for the victory despite going just 20 of 39 from the foul line for the game.

“That’s the first second half this season where you’ve seen us come out in the first five minutes and own the game,” Thompson said. “The difference was on the defensive end. It doesn’t matter if you miss shots as long as you turn it up on the defensive end. PNC has a lot of good guards, so for us to come out and put the kind of pressure on them that we did showed a lot of poise and commitment to the process and what we’re trying to accomplish.”

IUK out three players in double figures, led by point guard Reomey Northington’s 17 points. Northington, a Taylor High School product who went 7 of 10 from the field for the game, led the Cougars in scoring for the second straight game, his first two of the season after nursing a balky shoulder.  

Renbarger, an Eastern High School product, added 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in the victory. Nathaniel Carroll finished with 15 points and hit 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Spencer Krhin and Jared Lawrence both finished with nine points to aid the victory cause.

Kelly scored 19 points to lead PNC before fouling out. Futch Alphonse added 12 points in the loss for the Panthers, while Matthew Demler finished with 11.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • SPL - KT041614 - Boys golf preview - secondary pic BOYS GOLF: Howard County preview Western's boys golf team is thinking big this season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT041614 Girls tennis Preview - pic GIRLS TENNIS: Howard County preview After 39 seasons and counting as the boys tennis coach at Taylor High School, Dave Wise is entering his 24th season leading the Titan girls.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT041614 - Western hires coaches - mug Western hires football, volley coaches Western High School's search for a new football coach is over. Western on Tuesday named Ron Jankovich its new coach during a board meeting. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for Bethel University in Tennessee. He was the Wildcats' co-offensive coordinator.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT041614 - Brett Bowman column - Bowman ID BOWMAN: Abreu shines in Kokomo GP Although he might be short in size, California's Rico Abreu was tall in stature after dominating the two-day Kokomo Grand Prix for the USAC Honda National Midget Series and the Lucas Oil Powri National Midgets over the weekend at the Kokomo Speedway.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT041514 - Kokomo girls BB coach - mug Cusick is Lady Kats' new coach Heather Cusick is enjoying a pretty good month. Kokomo High School on Monday selected Cusick as its new girls basketball coach. Three days earlier, she became engaged to Michael Mygrant.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Tuesday, April 15 Gary Harris is going pro, thanks in part to coach Tom Izzo's recommendation.

    April 15, 2014

  • Wrestling teams fare well Wrestlers from Western and Peru fared well in weekend tournaments.

    April 15, 2014

  • SPL - KT041414 - Athlete of the week - mug Smith is Athlete of the Week Smith fired an even-par 72 in the Hall of Fame Tournament at Rock Hollow G.C.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Monday, April 14 Kokomo High School product Samantha Johnson collected 10 hits over a pair of doubleheaders for Grace College's softball team.

    April 14, 2014

  • SPL - KT041314 - All-Area boys basketball - secondary pic All-Area boys basketball team Kokomo boys basketball player Tayler Persons was relegated to a spectator role for the Wildkats' first 12 games of the season after tearing an ACL in a football game on Aug. 30 and having surgery on Sept. 17.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

NCAA Men's Basketball Poll
Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.