INDIANAPOLIS, In. – For the second time this season, IUPUI fell behind early to Youngstown State. Three weeks ago they lost by 23. Saturday afternoon they climbed back from a 17-point second-half deficit. The Jaguars pulled within two points twice, but Youngstown State escaped 84-80.
T.J. Henderson scored a career high 22 points including seven in the final 2:15. With IUPUI trailing by eight he got to the rim for two and drew a foul on the next possession. He hit both free throws to cut the lead to four. Youngstown State extended the lead back to five but Henderson got to the rim for a layup and drew a foul. Another free throw cut the lead to two.
IUPUI never had a chance to take the lead though. They had cut the lead to two twice and both times Youngstown State immediately answered. The first time they answered with a foul on a 3-pointer and hit all three free throws. After Henderson’s three-point play, they got a dunk. Henderson, Ron Patterson and Jaylen Minnett all had 3-point looks in the final seconds. But facing a four-point hole it was of no use.
As close as the final score was, and as close as IUPUI got with buckets from Henderson and Aaron Brennan, it’s not that surprising IUPUI didn’t win this one. On the season, they’re 0-15 when falling behind by at least 10 points.
On the other hand, IUPUI came into this game as 5.5-point favorites, an 8-2 home record, and some hot shooting recently out of Brennan, Henderson and Minnett. Minnett, who finished with nine points has hit 13 3-pointers in the last four games. Brennan came into Saturday’s game shooting 13-for-19 in the previous two and went 6-for-11 for 16 points and four rebounds against Youngstown State. Despite all of this, IUPUI was the inferior team for all but about 10 minutes.
After three games in seven days, IUPUI will now have five days off before taking on Milwaukee on the road. The Jaguars are just 1-14 on the road this season and this will be their final road game until the Horizon League tournament in Detroit.