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Hot-Shooting IUPUI Too Much for Spartans

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Mezie Uzochukwu skies for the easy layup over IUPUI's

Mezie Uzochukwu skies for the easy layup over IUPUI's

Nov. 17, 2007

Box Score

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - IUPUI shot nearly 52 percent from the floor en rout to an 80-54 victory over USC Upstate in the second game of the day in the BP Top of the World Classic Saturday afternoon in the Carlson Center.

Upstate falls to 0-3 on the season and concludes the tournament Sunday against the loser of the Alaska-Oregon State game later Saturday evening. Depending on the outcome of the game, the start time for Sunday's game will either be 10:00 a.m. AKT (Alaska win) or 3:30 p.m. AKT (Oregon State win). IUPUI improves to 2-2 on the year.

Things started badly for the Spartans as IUPUI scored the first eight points of the game to set the tone. After a Bobby Davis layup got Upstate on the board, the Jaguars scored five straight to open an 11-point advantage with 13:42 to play.

Upstate got its offense on track, cutting the IUPUI lead to eight on a layup from Nick Schneiders. Schneiders was able to use his size advantage on the offensive end of the court, helping create holes in the difficult matchup zone played by IUPUI. However, Schneiders picked up two fouls in the first half and had to sit for a good portion of the half.

After Upstate had cut the lead to eight, IUPUI answered with a 7-0 spurt to push the lead back to double digits at 31-16. The lead never dipped below 10 the rest of the game as IUPUI built a 19-point lead heading into halftime.

Gary Patterson led IUPUI in the first half with 14 points. The Jaguars were strong in the first half, hitting 57.7 percent of their shots, including 5-of-8 from the three-point arc. Upstate, on the other hand, shot just 36.0 percent from the floor, though the Spartans did connect on 4-of-7 from three-point range.

IUPUI effectively used the ball screen to create offensive opportunities throughout the game and Upstate had trouble figuring out how to defend the scheme.

"The ball screens really hurt us tonight," said Davis who led Upstate with his first double-double as a Spartan with 12 points and 10 rebounds. "Our offense was okay tonight. What we really needed to do was play better defense and didn't."

Upstate made a run to get back into the game early in the second half. After IUPUI built a 23-point advantage, 61-38, with 13:31 to play, Upstate scored eight straight points on a pair of free throws by Davis and three-pointers by Josh Chavis and Rashawn Brailsford.

The under-12 media timeout came shortly after Brailsford's trey and it seemed to cool off the surging Spartans. IUPUI went on a 15-1 run after the timeout to build a commanding 76-47 lead and would not look back.

IUPUI cooled off in the second half but still shot 51.8 percent from the floor for the game. The Jaguars connected on 5-of-14 three-pointers and were stellar at the free throw line, hitting 17-of-20 at the charity stripe. Upstate finished the game shooting 32.7 percent from the floor despite connecting on 7-of-17 from long range. The Spartans were also solid at the charity stripe, hitting 15-of-18 attempts.

Davis was the only Spartan to finish in double figures. Luke Payne, playing with a deep thigh bruise, finished with a gutsy nine points.

"He played a lot more minutes than I thought he would," said head coach Eddie Payne. "I kept asking him how he felt and he kept telling me he felt good and could go. I never thought he would have been able to play as much as he did."

Patterson led IUPUI on the day, finishing with 18 points. George Hill added a solid 17 points and five rebounds, while Jon Avery and Austin Montgomery finished with 15 and 13, respectively.

While Upstate was able to extend its offense to make the long range shot, the defensive effort was what hurt the Spartans throughout the night. According to Payne, that must change for Upstate to be successful.

"We weren't aggressive enough on the ball screens," said Payne. "We didn't hedge on the screens well enough. I thought we did a better job as the game went along. We just aren't where we need to be defensively. We have a lot of guys with a lot of work to do."

USC Upstate Men's Basketball
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