Detroit, MI. – It was a promising start to the conference season. Shortly after their six-game losing streak, IUPUI used a three-game win streak move above .500 in the Horizon League. It’s been all downhill since. Detroit Mercy led the entire way against the Jaguars and for double-figures in their 74-60 win.
Jaylen Minnett led IUPUI with 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting, all from long range. Two of his three-point baskets came during a critical stretch in the second half. Detroit Mercy took a game-high 17-point lead with 7:44 to go, but Evan Hall answered on the next possession to get IUPUI within 15, 59-44. Two possessions later Nick Rogers scored to get within 13. D.J. McCall rebounded another miss on the other end and found Minnett for a 3-pointer to get within 10 and after a turnover and timeout, Minnett hit a second 3-pointer to get within seven with 4:35 to go.
Outside of their 10-0 run that briefly threatened Detroit Mercy, there wasn’t much to cheer for. The Jaguars never led and Evan Hall’s 10 points and nine rebounds was the closest thing to a standout performance. They shot just 41 percent from the floor and made the second fewest free throws of the season (four).
Two weeks ago, IUPUI handled Detroit Mercy in the final game of their three-game win streak. Aaron Brennan got hot from long range and the Jaguars were only briefly challenged down the stretch. Circumstances changed though. Rather than playing at home coming off back-to-back wins, IUPUI came into Friday night’s road contest with three straight losses. Despite coming off four straight themselves, Detroit Mercy flipped the script.
Those three straight wins IUPUI tallied in January all came at home and once their four-game home stand ended, the question remained, could they win on the road? Now it seems we have a pretty emphatic answer to that. After four straight road games, it’s four straight losses. It’s not the least bit surprising that IUPUI is worse on the road, but it’s disconcerting how much worse they are on the road. They have just a 1-13 road record compared to 6-2 at home and their average margin on the road is minus-13.4 compared to plus-8.1 at home.
IUPUI will play one more on the road before finishing with five of six at home, but it’s a small consolation for a 1-13 road team that has to travel to Detroit for the Horizon League Tournament. Beginning with Oakland this Sunday, IUPUI will have just two more opportunities to fix their road issues.