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Youngstown State pulls away late to defeat IUPUI 85-62

Youngstown, OH – For the second straight game, IUPUI had to fight back after surrendering an early lead. Down 24 late in the first half, they climbed back to within five. Youngstown State dominated the glass in the second half though and pulled away to win 85-62.

Last time around it was the turnovers, this time it was an entirely different problem. The IUPUI defense held its own, but couldn’t close out possessions and gave up too many offensive rebounds and second chance points. They had their lowest rebounding total (19) and worst rebounding differential (minus-20) of the season Despite leading the team in scoring once again, Aaron Brennan only recorded two rebounds. Evan Hall, usually a physical inside presence, only had three. Ron Patterson was the only IUPUI player to record more than three rebounds, finishing with five. Devin Haygood, Naz Bohannon and Tyree Robinson combined for 20 rebounds, one more than all of IUPUI.

The bulk of the damage on the glass was done in the second half, but Youngstown State built their lead early. A 17-2 run in the opening portion of the game put the Penguins up 22-6. They slowly built on the lead pushing it 42-18 with 3:59 left in the half. IUPUI closed out strong though. A 10-3 run cut the lead to 17 and seven straight in the final 49 seconds from T.J. Henderson and Maurice Kirby had IUPUI down 13 at the break.

The run continued for IUPUI out of the break with Brennan and Hall pitching in eight straight pulling them within five, 48-43. IUPUI trimmed the deficit five on several occasions, but Youngstown State always had the answer. They only shot 44 percent in the second half, but they grabbed the offensive rebound on 12 of their 19 misses. The Penguins took full advantage and outscored IUPUI 18-4 on second-chance points in the second half.

After a Jaylen Minnett three-point basket once again pulled IUPUI within five, 57-52, Youngstown State put the game away. They finished with a 28-10 run over the final 12 minutes.

A low foul count isn’t normally a bad thing, but when you’re dominated on the glass as much as IUPUI was, it probably means you weren’t aggressive enough. The Jaguars committed a season-low 10 fouls, but Youngstown State still outscored them 9-6 at the line. IUPUI isn’t a very good free-throw shooting team. In fact, coming into tonight they ranked 311 out 351 D-1 teams. They shot a season low 40 percent though, going 6-for-15, and will only drop further.

IUPUI clearly has lost their momentum from their three-game winning streak, but now they’ll have a full week off to prepare for their next contest. They’ll be out for revenge next Saturday when they take on UIC.

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