CHILES, NAJEE LEAD JAGUARS TO EXHIBITION WIN
November 2, 2013HOOSIER SPORTS 365
INDIANAPOLIS - Junior guards Ian Chiles and Khufu Najee scored 22 points each and led four Jaguars in double-digits as IUPUI captured an 85-73 exhibition win over Kentucky State inside The Jungle on Saturday (Nov. 2). Senior center Mitch Patton chipped in 18 points and three steals and Donovan Gibbs added 12 points and a game-high nine boards.
The trio of Brandon Darrett, Ulysses Thomas III and Markus Montague all scored 12 each for the visiting Thorobreds.
"I was excited to see some of our play," IUPUI Head Coach Todd Howard said. "Our momentum in the first half was impressive. You shoot 60 percent, outrebound them 20-10 and only have six turnovers, but those were six costly turnovers.
"As a whole, our starters were playing high level basketball in stretches. They must take pride in consistency, and they will. In all, we saw nerves, great play in stretches and tons of combinations versus an athletic, veteran team. A lot was accomplished today."
It took IUPUI a few possessions to get going and Kentucky State took advantage by taking an early 5-4 lead. An 8-0 IUPUI spurt began with a Najee pull-up jumper and ended on a putback from Gibbs on a missed free throw, putting the Jaguars in front, 12-5, with 14:08 on the clock.
A little more than two minutes later, Gibbs buried IUPUI's only three of the game from the left wing to move the Jaguars lead to double-digits, 21-11. The lead failed to grow any further until two Najee free throws at the 4:21 mark moved the IUPUI advantage to 32-20.
An 11-4 Thorobreds run cut their deficit to five, 36-31, with less than two minutes to play in the opening half, but an 8-0 run in the final 1:21 sent the Jags into the locker room with a 44-31 lead. Six of the Jags eight points in the final 1:21 came from the charity stripe.
Najee led all players with 16 at the break, while Chiles, Patton and Gibbs added eight each.
"We moved the ball a lot better in the first half than we did in the second half," Najee said. "Mitch, Don, our bigs were setting good screens and Cellus, Ian and all the other wings were finding me. It just felt good tonight."
At the start of the second half, IUPUI began pounding the ball inside to Patton and the preseason Second Team All-Summit League selection answered the bell. Patton fueled an 8-2 outburst, building a 52-33 lead with 17:08 to play. The lead got as high as 21 later on a pair of Cortell Busby free throws, but KSU crept within 10 with 4:07 remaining.
At that point, Patton dropped in an old fashioned three-point play and Najee collected a steal on KSU's ensuing possesion before drawing a foul near midcourt. The left-handed Najee swished both free throws, helping ice the game.
IUPUI was 32-of-36 (88.9 percent) at the free throw line with both Najee and Patton having eight makes apiece. The Jaguars also shot an efficient 54 percent from the floor, helping offset 20 turnovers. Gibbs and Patton combined to hit 9-of-12 shots and Najee was 7-of-12 overall.
Sophomore Marcellus Barksdale, the Jaguars' fifth starter, closed with five points, three assists and nine rebounds in 30 minutes work. Freshman Justus Stanback had four points off the bench and Josh James grabbed three boards in nine minutes.
"I loved the interior subs of Josh and Justus," Howard said. "They will be highly productive for us."
IUPUI dominated the glass, 40-26, giving KSU just 13 defensive boards. The Jaguars grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, leading to 17 second chance points.
Brandon Darrett led KSU with six rebounds and Quentin Henderson finished with 10 points and six assists. Chiles handed out a team-high four assists for the Jaguars and also rejected three shots from his guard position.
The Jaguars will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 8 on the road at Utah Valley University. That game is scheduled to tip-off at 9:05 p.m. Eastern and can be heard on WNDE 1260 and on the free iHeartRadio app, available on smartphones. Will Flemming (pxp) will call the action from courtside in Orem, Utah.