Indianapolis, IN – There won’t be any early-season statement wins for IUPUI, at least not on Marquette’s watch. Despite entering the game as 13.5 point dogs on the road against a power-conference team, IUPUI (1-1) led late and had an opportunity to pull out the win with a shot at the buzzer, but it missed and things fell apart in overtime. Marquette (1-1) outscored IUPUI 6-2 in the extra period to take the 75-71 win.
Guard Darell Combs led IUPUI in scoring for the second time in a row with 21 points, but recorded a cringe-worthy double-double with 10 turnovers. Nick Osborne added 14 points for the Jaguars on 5-for-9 shooting and Matt O’Leary scored 10. Mason Archie rounded out the double-figure scorers for IUPUI with 11 points, but most notably missed a game-winning shot when his 3-pointer was blocked as time expired. Forward Henry Ellenson led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 18 points and Luke Fischer had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The game got off to an unsurprising start as the home favorites jumped out to a 26-16 lead midway through the first half, but an 11-0 run including three consecutive 3-pointers from Aaron Brennan, O’Leary and Combs gave the Jaguars a 36-32 lead with 2:20 to go in the half. Neither team could build much of a lead after that.
With 3:29 left in regulation and trailing 64-61, Archie knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game. The shot drew a foul and he converted the free throw for a one-point lead. Sandy Cohen answered on the next possession with a 3-pointer of his own to regain a two-point lead, 67-65. Ellenson extended the lead with a pair of free throws with 2:01 to go, but Archie would come up with a steal two possessions later and get fouled in transition. His free throws cut the lead back to two, 69-67 with 1:02 left. After a turnover and transition layup from Osborne, Marquette was forced to call a timeout with 35 seconds left. IUPUI defended and earned a chance to take the win, but Archie’s 3-pointer was blocked and time ran out.
IUPUI attempted 28 3-pointers in regulation making just nine (32 percent) and the trend continued in overtime.
Marquette scored first 53 seconds in to go up 71-69. Combs missed a 3-pointer on the next possession, but Osborne evened the score with 2:48 to go. Ellenson went 1-for-2 from the line after an O’Leary foul with 1:02 left to take the lead. Combs turned the ball over on the next possession and Marquette’s Duane Wilson made a layup and drew a foul with 15 seconds left to seal the game.
In addition to the unimpressive shooting effort in overtime, 1-for-5 overall and 0-for-4 beyond the arc, IUPUI also turned the ball over five times giving them little chance to win.
Pushing a power-conference team to overtime on the road as a double-digit underdog could be used as a building block this early in the season, but the 17 turnovers and 3-point happy offense needs to change. IUPUI shot just 14 3-pointers in their season-opening win over Indiana State and averaged 13.7 3-pointers attempted per game last year, but shot 32 against Marquette which accounted for nearly 50 percent of their field-goal attempts.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Jaguars. They’ll finish their three-game road trip Wednesday when they take on N.C. State. N.C. State split their first two games, both at home, but neither was close. After a 17-point loss in the opener, they evened their record at 1-1 with an 18-point win over South Alabama. Wednesdays game tips at 7:00 pm ET and will be broadcast on ESPN3.