Jags drop two more

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IUPUI lost two more games last week – falling first at Oakland 85-81 on Wednesday, then 81-68 at Detroit Mercy on Sunday. The Jaguars were looking to get their first conference road win of the season but we’re unable to do so, falling to 4-25 overall and 1-17 in Horizon League play.

The Jags seem to match up well with Oakland as they lost the two games with the Grizzlies by a combined 10 points, including the overtime loss in January.

Just like in the first matchup, IUPUI had their chances. The Jags led 72-69 with 5:16 remaining but Oakland rattled off 9 unanswered points and from there were able to hold off the visitors.

IUPUI shot 56 percent from the floor but were ultimately doomed by an inability to possess the ball. Normally shooting that well will give a team a pretty good chance to win but Oakland was able to take advantage of 20 Jaguar turnovers. They also shot 32 free throws compared to IUPUI’s 14.

DJ Jackson led the Jags with a career high 23 points. Jlynn Counter added 18 points and 7 rebounds.

The Detroit game also seemed to follow a similar script. IUPUI played the Titans neck in neck most of the way before a decisive run midway through the second half dashed any Jaguar hopes.

The Jags trailed 49-48 with around 11 minutes remaining, but they had possession and an opportunity to take the lead. Instead they failed to convert and a quick AJ Oliver three on the other end made it a two-possession game. That was the first of an 18-1 run that put the game out of reach.

The Jags struggled to take care of the ball again, adding 17 more to their mounting season total. Many of the turnovers were unforced – shuffling the feet before a drive, stepping out of bounds, or telegraphing a pass.

To be fair, Detroit wasn’t any better, turning it over 15 times themselves.

Similar to Oakland on Wednesday, Detroit had a 24-14 advantage on free throws attemps Sunday. (Antoine Davis has 14 attempts on his own.) That combined with 22 offensive rebounds proved too much for IUPUI to overcome.

Counter struggled to stay on the floor verses Detroit as he battled foul trouble in both halves. In a game where Davis seemed to be getting some favorable whistles, Counter’s fourth foul was particularly questionable. It certainly looked like Davis lowered the shoulder and initiated contact with Counter in order to create space for a jump shot, but it was Counter who was whistled. Counter played just 18 minutes compared to a season average of about 30 minutes per game.

Vincent Brady II led IUPUI scorers, netting 13 for the Jags against Detroit. John Egbuta (11) and Chris Osten (10) we’re also in double-digits.

The Jaguars will return home for their final two regular season home games. First IUPUI will host Robert Morris on Thursday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Then the Jaguars will welcome Youngstown State to the Jungle for Senior Day on Saturday.

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