OFFENSE FLOURISHES AS JAGS CRUISE TO 109-67 WIN

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INDIANAPOLIS – After spending three weeks touring the Midwest in opposing gyms, the Jaguars finally returned to their home hardwood on Monday night (Dec. 12). The Jags left their habit of slow starts on the road as they cruised to a 109-67 over Urbana University. The win improved their record to 4-7 on the season, and now sport a 3-0 record at the Coliseum. The win was also the program’s 250th since becoming a Division I program in 1998.

 “I think it helps to be back at home especially after playing six straight games on the road, and I think the guys showed it tonight,” Head Coach Jason Gardner said after the win, “the shots were falling and I think the guys were really happy to be back on our home court.”

 The Jags only held a 10-point lead at the 4-minute mark in the first half, resulting in back-to-back timeouts Gardner. The players responded with a 19-6 run to close the half, stretching the lead to 23 at the break.

 “I think we had to pick up the intensity defensively and on the glass. We had gotten a little sloppy with turnovers for a bit, and I wanted us to focus on getting stops and cleaning up our game before going into half.”

 The offense was on display the entire night as the Jaguars moved the ball with ease for open looks. They picked apart the opposition from all over the court by shooting 64 percent from the floor and 17-of-29 (58.6 percent) from beyond the arc. The Jags tallied 27 assists in the process.

 “The ball movement was really good tonight. I think that’s one thing we really do well with this team is move the ball around for good shots,” Gardner said, “I thought the guys played unselfish tonight and were sharp on that end.”

 Senior Darell Combs tied his season-high with 28 points, tallying his fourth 20-point outing of the year. He hit 6-of-7 three-point attempts and needed just 22 minutes to get his 28. Six others joined him in double-figures to propel the Jags to their first 100-point outing in Gardner’s three seasons. Matt O’Leary picked up his tenth consecutive game in double figures with 10 points, and fell one rebound short of a double-double.

 “We just have a lot of unselfish guys on the team,” Combs said, “and it felt great being back in our own gym and getting some shots to fall.”

 Evan Hall and Kellon Thomas capped off the scoring in double-digits from the starters with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Aaron Brennan propelled the bench with 13 of his own, while T.J. Henderson added 11. Ron Patterson, who came off the bench for the first time all year, found his rhythm with 10 points to round out the double-digit scorers.

 The Jags capped off their offensive showcase with late roars from the bench as Chad Hudson and Grant Sinn both hit threes for their first baskets as Jaguars, and twelve Jags scored overall.

 “Man, it was amazing seeing those guys get their buckets tonight,” Combs laughed, “It’s impossible not to be happy for them.”

DeQuan Abrom led three Urbana players in double-digits with 20 points and Carlas Jackson chipped in 13 points and six boards. 

IUPUI owned the glass by a 50-20 margin and outscored Urbana 34-14 in the paint. 

The Jaguars will take the next few days off to focus on Finals Week before trekking to Las Vegas later this week. IUPUI will return to action on Saturday (Dec. 17) at former Summit League foe Southern Utah. That game will tip at 6:00 p.m. Eastern and will be heard on 97.5 Fox Sports FM, 1260 WNDE and the iHeartRadio app as Morgan Adcock (pxp) will call the action. The Jags will cap that two-game trip at Northwestern on Tuesday (Dec. 20) at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. 

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