Dayton, OH. – The IUPUI defense finally did its job. They held Wright State to just 43 percent shooting and 60 points. But an eight-minute first-half scoreless stretch for the second game in-a-row dug the Jaguars too deep of a hole. Their second half rally wasn’t enough and they lost their second straight Horizon League game 60-52.
Just like a game ago, there wasn’t much to show for IUPUI’s offensive effort. They shot just 35 percent from the floor, the fourth time in the last five games they’ve finished under 40 percent. Jaylen Minnett finished with 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting and Ron Patterson added 10 points. The rest of the time combined to shoot 11-for-40.
Despite an eight-minute scoring drought for the second game in-a-row, IUPUI’s defense actually held up their end. Elyjah Goss’s tip-in with 10:52 to go in the half put IUPUI up 14-13. Nobody scored for over three minutes and by the time the IUPUI offense finally woke up, they were only down 22-14. After an Aaron Brennan jumper with a minute to go, IUPUI was within seven. Two quick buckets after the break from Patterson brought IUPUI within four points. Another Patterson score with 16:40 to go got them within three.
Still, with IUPUI down just three and Wright State at only 30 points after 23 minutes of play, IUPUI needed something from the offense. And they got nothing. Over the next six minutes Maurice Kirby split a pair of free throws while Wright State pushed their lead to 10, 38-28.
The Jaguars managed to get within one possession on three occasions in the final 10 minutes. Nick Rogers hit a jumper with 6:31 to go and Evan Hall split a pair of free throws 14 seconds later to pull within three, 46-43. Grant Benzinger, who finished with 16 points, answered to go back up five but a three-point basket from Minnett got IUPUI within two. Benzinger hit a 3-pointer of his own to go back up five. Two scoreless minutes later, T.J. Henderson made a layup, but Jaylon Hall immediately responded with a 3-pointer.
By this time last year, IUPUI had two road wins including an 11-point win over Ball State. This time around though, they’re still looking for their first road win. It hasn’t helped that they’ve played almost all of their games on the road, but that’s all the more reason they should have gotten on the board so far. IUPUI will likely be an underdog in their remaining road games. Given that they’re 0-8 in games as underdogs so far, the only good news is that after their next game at Green Bay, they’ll play nine of their final 15 games at home.