Northeastern Beats IUPUI in Opener

    
November 11th, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The IUPUI Jaguars basketball team got off to a sluggish start on Tuesday, dropping its season-opener to Northeastern 73-60 in the opening game of the Ann Arbor Regional of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Junior Robert Glenn scored a game-high 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting and freshman Alex Young added 17 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes.

Eugene Spates led four Northeastern players in double-digits with 14 points and preseason All-Colonial pick Matt Janning added 13 points.

IUPUI was without senior point guard Gary Patterson, who missed the game due to an injury suffered in the preseason. It snapped his streak of 43 consecutive games started, dating back to his sophomore season.

"This is probably the youngest basketball team I've ever coached," IUPUI Head Coach Ron Hunter said. "We played against a solid basketball team - a very experienced basketball team, and it showed. A lot of my guys were playing their first college basketball games.

"Alex had that 'deer in headlights' look in his eyes, but I think he came back and had a really good basketball game."

Northeastern surged out to an early 9-2 lead and led from wire-to-wire. IUPUI got within three at 11-8 when sophomore Adrian Moss came off the bench to score four quick points, but Janning hit back-to-back threes to extend the lead to nine midway through the first half.

After trailing 32-22 at the break, the Jaguars chipped away early in the second half behind the strong play of Glenn and Young. The duo combined to score IUPUI's first 10 points of the second half to pull the Jags within seven.

Having missed their first 12 threes of the game, sophomore Leroy Nobles swished one from the right wing with 12:26 to play in front of the IUPUI bench to make the score 44-36, prompting an NU (1-0) timeout. Out of the timeout, the Huskies reeled off a modest 10-3 run to put the game away.

IUPUI (0-1), which led the country in three-point shooting a year ago, hit just 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) inside an empty Crisler Arena on Tuesday. Overall, the Jaguars shot just 39 percent from the floor and Northeastern hit 42 percent.

"We're going to shoot the basketball better than this," Hunter said. "Again, I think our inexperience played a part in our shooting today."

Glenn hit 9-of-11 from the foul line and added two blocked shots in 23 minutes off the bench and Young finished the game hitting 6-of-10 from the field. His 17 points were the most by an IUPUI freshman in their college debut since joining the Division I ranks in 1998.

"Rob brought us a lot of energy, and that's what we brought him in here to do," Hunter said. "And Alex had a really good second half. He just needed to get comfortable - he's going to be really special for us."

Nobles added 10 points and four assists in his first career start.

IUPUI will now play in the consolation game of the Ann Arbor Regional at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, facing the loser of the Michigan/Michigan Tech game. That game can be heard on XL 950 with pregame coverage beginning at 4:40 p.m., or on IUPUIJags.com.