INDIANAPOLIS, IN—Senior Alex Young scored a game-high 22 points and sophomore Ian Chiles added 17 as IUPUI used a strong start to the second half on its way to a 66-57 win over Ball State inside Conseco Fieldhouse on Monday (Dec. 19) night. The win was IUPUI's third straight and avenged an earlier loss to the Cardinals as BSU knocked off the Jaguars 69-62 in Muncie in late November. It also snapped Ball State's six-game winning streak.
Chiles led the way in the first half, scoring 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting including 3-of-4 from three, biding time until Young got hot in the second half. Seventeen of Young's 22 came after intermission as the lefty hit 7-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the foul line. The rest of the IUPUI roster made just 9-of-30 from the floor and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Ball State (6-3) started the game with an 8-0 run with senior Jarrod Jones doing the bulk of the damage on the low block. After head coach Todd Howard called a quick 30-second timeout, his squad responded with a 13-2 run of its own with Chiles scoring seven during the burst. The game of runs continued as Ball State tallied nine in succession, the first seven coming from Tyler Koch before Jones added the final two at the free throw line.
Again, IUPUI (5-8) answered with back-to-back threes by Marcellus Barksdale and Young to tie the score at 19 all with 7:03 left before halftime. Ball State took a 26-20 lead after Randy Davis hit a pair of free throws, but the Jaguars closed the first half with a 13-3 rally to lead 32-29 at the break. Chiles hit a pair of triples during the run including a hotly contested attempt from the top of the key with a minute left to cap the first half scoring and draw a collective gasp from the Conseco crowd.
IUPUI essentially landed the knockout blow at the start of the second half by virtue of a 17-4 rally that spanned more than six minutes. The majority of the points came as IUPUI bettered Ball State off the offensive glass, leading to multiple second chance opportunities. A tip-in by Lyonell Gaines made it 36-29 with 18:33 and later he tipped in a Young miss to push the lead to 43-33. On the next possession, Young missed a second chance, but finally tipped in a third opportunity to push the lead to 12.
The possession that epitomized the Jaguars' win on Monday night came with just under seven minutes to play and IUPUI clinging to a 54-45 lead. With the shot clock winding down, Stephen Thomas missed badly on a rushed three-point attempt, only to see a long rebound go to Chiles. Chiles airballed his attempt, but Young plucked the offensive rebound and dropped in a 4-footer as the shot clock expired, pushing the lead back to 11.
The Jaguars had led by as many as 16 in the second half but had to fend off the hard charging Cards down the stretch. The IUPUI lead was trimmed to 62-57 with 1:02 left when Jones hit a pair of free throws, but senior Christian Siakam matched the effort when he was intentionally fouled in the backcourt as BSU extended the game. IUPUI got the stop it needed with under 50 seconds to play when BSU missed an initial three-point attempt and then Gaines picked off a Davis pass after the BSU point guard had claimed the offensive board.
IUPUI, ranked 26th nationally in free throw percentage, hit 2-of-4 down the stretch and finished the game at 80 percent in the win.
Jones led three Cardinals in double-digits with 16 points on just 5-of-13 shooting and Chris Bond contributed 13 points and eight caroms. Jesse Berry added 10 off the bench.
IUPUI finished the game with a 36-30 advantage on the glass and 17-4 edge in second chance points. Gaines had eight points and seven boards (six offensive) and Siakam put up seven points and four boards off the bench.
The win improved IUPUI to 1-6 all-time against Ball State with the program's previous victory having been vacated by the NCAA. The Jaguars also improved to 5-3 at home this season and 6-4 all-time at Conseco Fieldhouse.