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LATE RUN DOOMS JAGS IN 86-70 DEFEAT TO SDSU

January 10, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



IUPUI RELEASE

INDIANAPOLIS - South Dakota State used a 13-0 run over the final 3:14 to break open a one-possession game and race to an 86-70 win over IUPUI in both teams' Summit League opener inside The Jungle on Thursday (Jan. 9) night. Jordan Dykstra managed 26 points and nine boards for SDSU while junior Ian Chiles led four Jags in double-digits with 21 points in the loss. 

Junior Khufu Najee tallied 15 points and seven boards and senior center Mitch Patton closed with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Sophomore guard Marcellus Barksdale added 10 points and six assists, including a perfect 8-of-8 effort from the foul line. 

IUPUI (5-13, 0-1 Summit) finished the game hitting 54 percent from the floor, fueled largely by a 61.5 percent effort in the first half. However, SDSU's duo of Dykstra and Florida-transfer Cody Larson dominated play on the interior, with Larson adding 22 points and six caroms. The duo hit 17-of-31 shots and 12-of-15 free throws as the Jackrabbits finished the game shooting nearly 52 percent overall. 

"For 36 minutes, it's a one-possession game against a team with multiple NCAA trips," IUPUI Head Coach Todd Howard said. "We dug in.

"Larson and Dykstra were just way too much. Turnovers hurt us and they were at inopportune times early after we shot 61 percent in the first half. I think we played great early and that was without Mitch and Marcellus due to foul trouble. 

"There was some inconsistency and that cost Marcellus his rhythm."

After having trailed by as many as 12 early in the second half, the Jaguars crept back in the contest with an efficient offense and timely shooting from Chiles and Patton. Still down 70-62 with 4:13 remaining, Chiles splashed a corner three to make it a five-point game with just over four minutes left. On the next possession, IUPUI forced a pair of misses and Barksdale was fouled while grabbing the defensive board, leading to two made free throws after the final media timeout. 

Larson answered with a quick three-point play from the right block as Justus Stanback was called for riding the SDSU forward off the low block. After the three-point play, Najee countered with a trey from the opposite corner, making it 73-70 with 3:14 left. However, SDSU earned another three-point play opportunity when Donovan Gibbs fouled Dykstra on a layup try. As the official was conveying the foul to the scorer's table, Howard was hit with a technical foul, ultimately leading to three SDSU free throws. 

Dykstra made all three, capping a five-point possession and initiating the decisive 13-0 run. After Najee misfired on a jumper, SDSU sophomore Jake Bittle fired a final dagger by swishing a wing three with 2:19 remaining to push the guest's lead to 81-70. 

"We needed a stop or two in the second half," Howard said. "We cut it to three and they always answered."

Bittle finished with 10 points, six assists and five steals while Brayden Carlson chipped in 19 points. The teams' benches combined to score just six points total as the starters played the bulk of the minutes for both sides. 

While Thursday's ending left much to be desired, the Jaguars got the start they wanted, surging out to an 8-2 lead, including a pair of Patton buckets. The game featured five ties and six lead changes in the opening 14-plus minutes before a mini 6-0 SDSU run gave the Jacks the lead for good late in the first stanza. Larson opened the run with a layup and ultimately capped it with a two-handed dunk.

The win was SDSU's eighth straight over the Jaguars. 

Chiles hit 7-of-14 shots and Najee was 7-of-12 from the floor as the duo combined to play 78 of 80 possible minutes. 

"Ian and Khufu are so hard to guard. I loved their energy tonight," Howard said. 

Gibbs added six points and six boards in his return to the starting lineup, coming off a 32-point outburst against Judson a week prior. 

IUPUI will continue the opening week of Summit League action on Saturday (Jan. 11) afternoon when the Jags host preseason favorite North Dakota State. The game will be televised on WRTV6 and HTSN, while also being broadcast online on ESPN3. Greg Rakestraw (pxp) and Bob Lovell (analyst) will be on the call from courtside inside the Jungle. 

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 afternoon. 


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