IUPUI’s men’s basketball team grabbed their seventh win in nine home games Wednesday. Their 86-81 overtime win over the North Dakota State Bison ended the Jaguars’ three game losing streak and brought them back within three games of the top spot in the conference with six games remaining on the schedule.
The Jags held a 42-35 lead going into halftime but struggled through the first five minutes of the second half and allowed the Bison to gain their first lead of the game at the 15:13 mark, but the Jags were able to claw their way back late.
Stellar shooting by the home team down the stretch caused the overtime period and ultimately won the Jags the game. Junior guard Ron Patterson showed off his clutch gene with two big corner threes in the final minutes of regulation to go along with his game-sealing free throws in the final seconds of overtime.
O’Leary’s Big Night
Senior forward Matt O’Leary led all scorers with 24 points in a team high 41 minutes. O’Leary’s shooting was hot from the start, making his first three 3-point attempts and finishing a blazing 6-8 for the game. O’Leary scored 10 points in the final 9 minutes of the first half and led both teams in scoring with 16 points at the half’s end.
O’Leary started the second half by making his first 3-point attempt a little over a minute into the action, but did not score again until the overtime period. O’Leary’s final two buckets became crucial as both teams struggled in overtime and his post-up with 58 seconds remaining ended up being the final field goal made in the contest with the rest of the points for both teams coming from the free-throw line.
Starting for the first time all season, junior forward Aaron Brennan made the most of the opportunity he was given. Brennan scored a season high 18 points and also grabbed a season high eight rebounds in his 32 minutes on the floor.
Brennan’s stellar performance marked his fourth straight game scoring in double figures after only having three such games in the team’s first 20 outings of the season.
The Jaguars knocked down 14 of 24 3-point attempts Wednesday, good enough for their second best total for the season. The team started the game fast, making six of their first eight attempts and finished the first half 8-12 from the 3-point line.
In both matchups this season the Jags managed to out shoot the Bison from beyond the arc and IUPUI’s plus-five differential happened to also be that in the final box score.
The Jaguars’ next game is February 8 at the University of Nebraska Omaha and their next home matchup will be Saturday February 11 at 7 p.m. at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum where the team will hope to build on Wednesday night’s win.