Indianapolis, IN. – With their 67-61 win over Morehead State Tuesday night, IUPUI continued their pattern of a road loss followed by a home win. After a blazing 13-2 start, IUPUI held steady and never relinquished the lead.
Aaron Brennan cooled off from his hot shooting over the weekend, but still led the Jaguars with 15 points. He had a slow start in the season opener, but has since established himself as IUPUI’s go-to scorer. Since the first game, he’s averaged 19 points per game on 61 percent shooting. D.J. McCall returned to the starting lineup after two games coming off the bench. He scored eight points, but his presence was felt all over the court. He grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists and had a block and two steals.
After taking a 32-25 lead into the half, IUPUI quickly stretched the lead to 10 points. Morehead State adapted though and switched a 2-3 zone. The change caught IUPUI off guard forcing three turnovers on the next four possessions. Meanwhile Jordan Walker and Lamontray Harris hit back-to-back three pointers to cut the lead to four. After an Evan Hall miss with 12:46 to go, the Eagles got out in transition and Adrian Hicks scored on a layup to cut the lead to 42-40.
Brennan answered on the next possession though to stem the bleeding. Morehead State would cut the lead down to one possession four more times over the next seven minutes, but each time IUPUI had the answer. Harris answered Brennan’s layup with a jumper, but Hall scored two possessions later. With 7:31 left, a Harris jumper again cut the lead to one possession. Ron Patterson answered by hitting a pull-up 3-pointer from the left side to extend the lead to 52-47. After two Hicks free throws with 6:17 to go, Jaylen Minnett found Elyjah Goss for a dunk. Another Harris jumper on the next possession was followed by a pair of free throws from T.J. Henderson giving IUPUI a 55-51 lead with 4:13 left in the game.
With under two minutes to go and IUPUI up eight, McCall tipped in a missed layup to give IUPUI their first double-figure lead since the opening minutes. The Eagles pressed the rest of the way and tried to play the foul game to catch up, but IUPUI made enough free throws to hold them at bay.
The big theme against Eastern Illinois was IUPUI’s inability to get to the free-throw line as well as keep Eastern Illinois from getting there themselves. They made a major improvement though against Morehead State. Despite shooting under 70 percent from the line, they made it to the line 32 times and shot 13-for-16 in the second half.
IUPUI has now alternated road losses and home wins in all four games this season. They’ll have a full week off for Thanksgiving, but return to action on the road at former conference foe Western Illinois. The game will tip next Tuesday at 8:00 pm.