JAGUARS BLAST JUDSON, 112-50
January 3, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
IUPUI SPORTS RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Donovan Gibbs scored a career-high 32 points and junior Khufu Najee collected his first career double-double with 11 points, 11 boards and five assists as IUPUI routed Judson, 112-50 on Thursday (Jan. 2) night inside the Jungle. The Jaguars hit 100 for the first time since Head Coach Todd Howard's first game as the program's lead man and tallied the program's highest point total since the 2003-04 season.
Junior Ian Chiles scored 18 points off the bench and freshman forward Josh James tossed in 17 points and six boards in the victory. Andrew Eck was the lone Judson (5-12) player to score in double-digits, finishing with 23.
"It was a solid effort and it mirrored our practice and preparation," Howard said. "The guys understand that our level of consistency is rising and good play is around the corner. We have played seven teams that are winning their leagues, so to speak - that's unheard of.
"I love the effort and resolve that Khufu and Donovan brought. To be that efficient without Mitch (Patton) was good to see. Our guys were ready and they competed. I'm very proud of how they are starting 2014."
IUPUI (5-12) played without senior center Mitch Patton, but showed early that he wouldn't be missed on this night. The Jaguars jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and never looked back, easily building a double-digit lead. Najee did a bit of everything in the first half while Gibbs hit shots from seemingly every angle.
A 16-2 run made it 29-7 less than 10 minutes into the first half, capped by a Ja'Rob McCallum three from the corner. The lead later grew as high as 39 in the first half before the Jaguars took a 64-27 advantage to the break.
Najee took it upon himself to dominate the glass, grabbing eight first half boards and delivering five assists. Gibbs was the first sub off the bench and immediately made his presence felt with a short jumper and a tip-in. The Louisville-native's only first half miss was an uncontested 28-footer at the horn as he scored 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting.
Wearing their home gold uniforms, nearly everything the Jaguars did in the opening 20 minutes turned up gold. IUPUI shot 71.4 percent from the field in the first half while holding Judson to just 24.1 percent. The Jaguars were blazing hot from three, hitting 7-of-11 tries, and won the glass 25-7.
The second half was much of the same from the opening possession when the Jaguars executed a designed backdoor lob from Marcellus Barksdale to Najee, who thundered home a two-handed slam. The Jaguars lead pushed beyond 40 early in the second half on a Najee three-point play in transition. Later, Gibbs delivered a pair of dunks, the last of which was a three-point play along the baseline over a pair of defenders.
James had an efficient night in the middle, hitting 7-of-8 shots as the Jaguars outscored Judson 62-22 in the paint and 26-2 on second chance points.
"Josh was aggressive and had a great motor," Howard said. "He's played really hard this week."
Gibbs finished 13-of-16 overall and 3-of-4 from three-point range, while Chiles was 7-of-10 from the field. The 62-point final margin was the Jaguars' largest in the program's Division I era, topping a 52-point win over Tri-State in 2003. McCallum scored 10 points in his first start of the year and redshirt freshmen Cortell Busby (5 pts) and Linwood Ross (6 pts) both set new career-highs with second half contributions.
Nine of the 10 Jaguars in uniform scored and handed out assists, while all 10 players grabbed at least one board. No Jag played more than 30 minutes, while all 10 played at least 11 minutes. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak.
"I love how hard the guys are working - tons of 3.0 (GPA's); they work tirelessly and good things happened for them," Howard said.
Defensively, IUPUI held Judson to just 27 percent shooting and 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from three-point range.
IUPUI will continue the four-game homestand and open Summit League play on Thursday (Jan. 9) when the Jaguars host South Dakota State at 7:00 p.m. inside the Jungle.
"We need a great crowd with (Summit) league play up next," Howard said.
Adult reserved seats are just $10 each and can be purchased by calling 317-274-5453. The game can be heard in Central Indiana on WNDE 1260 AM and worldwide on the free iHeartRadio app available on smartphones. Will Flemming (pxp) will call the action from courtside that evening and the broadcast can be viewed on the IUPUI LIVE! subscription service on IUPUIJags.com.