Davante Gardner had 20 points and 11 boards off the bench and led five Marquette players in double-digits as the host Golden Eagles blitzed the Jaguars, 86-50 inside BMO Harris Bradley Center on Saturday afternoon. Junior Ian Chiles was the lone IUPUI player in double-digits with 21 points in 36 minutes work.
The loss snapped IUPUI's (4-8) three-game winning streak and was the Jaguars first defeat during the month of December. Marquette (6-4) improved to 5-1 at home this season. Marquette shot a blistering 64.9 percent overall and connected on 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) from three. IUPUI struggled, shooting just 29.5 percent overall and 29.4 percent three-point range.
"Sometimes, it's not who you play or where you play them, but when you play them," IUPUI Head Coach Todd Howard said. "This was their first home game in almost a month, so we knew they'd come at us. That was the case today. We couldn't get into the offense and they haven't made shots all year and today they did. That gave them energy, more than anything.
"It kind of snowballed from there."
"They came out and they were more aggressive than us," Chiles said. "We didn't come out ready to play."
The typically mild shooting Golden Eagles came out blazing hot, hitting three early threes to build an 11-2 lead. Juan Anderson stroked a pair of early triples and Jake Thomas also drained a trey from the top of the key against the Jaguars' zone, setting the early tone. Marquette's length and athleticism stymied the Jaguars at the other end as IUPUI struggled to get clean looks offensively. Marquette hemmed up the Jaguars' passing lanes, making ball reversals and post feeds more difficult than usual.
The defensive energy translated at the other end as MU's lead grew to 18-2 when Gardner knocked in a 17-footer from the baseline, forcing a second IUPUI timeout in the game's first eight minutes.
IUPUI was never able to flip the momentum or make a substantial run, eventually trailing 43-18 at the break. The Jaguars' 18 first half points were a season-low and the 25-point deficit was the largest Howard's team had faced since early last season.
The second half started much the same way as an early 10-2 run pushed the Marquette advantage out to 33 less than four minutes deep into the period and IUPUI never got closer than 30 the rest of the way. With the game well decided, some fireworks came into play in the final minutes when Gardner and IUPUI freshman Justus Stanback got tangled up going for a loose ball in the back court. Both players went to the floor and continued to scrap behind the play, forcing the officials to go to the monitor to review the issue. Both players were assessed personal fouls and Gardner was issued a technical foul.
"Justus has been a loose ball guy. He's a 6-9 freshman who's not afraid to get in there and mix it up," Howard said.
Senior #P.J. Hubert# came off the bench to score eight points off the bench, including hitting 2-of-5 from downtown. Junior Khufu Najee finished with seven points and a pair of steals. Stanback and Marcellus Barksdale each grabbed a team-high five boards while the latter also collected four assists and a pair of steals.
Chiles was 9-of-23 overall to tally his 21 points while the rest of the roster was a combined 9-of-38 from the floor.
"He's a warrior," Howard said. "He's the one guy we knew who could come out and get shots off at this level and just make plays."
"I played aggressively, but we just didn't bring it as a team, me included," Chiles said.
Jamil Wilson had 16 points, seven boards and six assists for the Golden Eagles and Anderson closed with 11 points. Both Jajuan Johnson and Deonte Burton scored 10 points apiece off the bench, teaming to hit 10-of-15 field goal tries. Marquette finished with 28 assists on 37 baskets and out rebounded the Jaguars 46-23. The Golden Eagles also closed with a definitive 44-18 edge in points in the paint and 48-16 in bench points.
The loss dropped IUPUI to 0-2 all-time against Marquette with both losses coming at the Bradley Center.
IUPUI will return home to host Nicholls State on Wednesday (Dec. 18) in the back end of a doubleheader. The women's team will kick-off the action at 5:00 p.m. against Northern Kentucky, followed by the men's game at approximately 7:30 p.m.. Wednesday's game can be heard on WNDE 1260 AM and on the free iHeartRadio app available on smart phones. Wednesday's contest is a return game from the 2012 Sears BracketBuster event as IUPUI made an initial trip to Thibodaux, La., defeating the Colonels 84-80 that season.
Adult reserved tickets are just $10 and can be purchased by calling the IUPUI Athletic offices at 317-274-5453.