RECAP: Darell Combs Nets 31 as IUPUI Jaguars Knock off Summit-Leading IPFW Mastodons, 80-77

Max Landis (above) and John Konchar combined for 33 points on Saturday, but the Summit LEague leaders couldn't hold off the upset-minded IUPUI Jaguars, falling 80-77 on the road. (Source: USA Today Sports)
Max Landis (above) and John Konchar combined for 33 points on Saturday, but the Summit League leading IPFW Mastodons couldn’t hold off the upset-minded IUPUI Jaguars, falling 80-77 on the road. (Source: USA Today Sports)

The regular season in the Summit League came to an end on Saturday, and the IPFW Mastodons had the opportunity to secure the regular season title outright with a win on the road over the IUPUI Jaguars.

Having won their past four games, the Mastodons were riding a hot streak at just the right time. The same couldn’t be said for the Jaguars, as they came in having lost their previous two outings.

In the first meeting between the two this season, the Jaguars went on the road and shocked the Mastodons, coming away with the 84-82 victory. With the action switching to their home floor, they were looking for a season sweep, while closing the regular season on a high note.

It came down to the wire, and Max Landis had the ball in his hands with the game on the line. His last-second three point attempt was off the mark, and the IUPUI Jaguars came away with the massive 80-77 win over the IPFW Mastodons.

For the majority of the first half, the Mastodons held the lead over the Jaguars. John Konchar pushed the lead to 6 for IPFW with under 4 to play in the opening half, and it looked as though the Mastodons would take the lead into the locker room.

IUPUI went on a 10-2 run over the final 2:41 of the half, capped off by a three pointer from Darell Combs, to take a 41-39 lead into the break.

With the momentum squarely in their corner after closing the first half on a much-needed run, the Jaguars looked to build on their lead in the second half and score the upset victory. Evan Hall opened with a jumper on the first field goal attempt of the half, and the home team picked up right where they left off on offense.

Aaron Brennan would hit a jumper of his own to push the Jaguars’ lead to 10 at the 16:51 mark, and they were just getting started. They built their lead as the game wore on, stretching their advantage to as many as 11, but IPFW never quit and made a late charge to try and get back into the game.

With 44 seconds on the clock, Landis was fouled on a three point attempt, sending him to the line for three free throws. He made all three, and the Mastodons were back to within 1, at 78-77. The Jaguars took the blows from IPFW down the stretch, but held their ground.

Marcellus Barksdale hit a jumper with 13 seconds to play to put the Jaguars ahead by 3. IPFW had one last shot to tie the game, and the ball ended up in the hands of Landis. His three point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark, and IUPUI came away with the big 80-77 victory.


Game Leaders

Freshman John Konchar and senior Max Landis led the way for the Mastodons on the afternoon. Konchar recorded a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Landis scored a team-high 23 points to go along with 3 assists.

Senior Michael Calder added 15 points in the loss.

For the Jaguars, a big night from guard Darell Combs helped IUPUI complete the season sweep of the Mastodons. Combs scored a game-high 31 points to go along with 8 assists in the win.

Matt O’Leary added 12 points, 9 assists, and 5 steals, while Marcellus Barksdale finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks.


Looking Ahead

Both the IPFW Mastodons (23-8, 12-4) and the IUPUI Jaguars (13-18, 9-7) now turn their attention to the Summit League tournament, looking to clinch a spot in a post-season tournament. The later results on Saturday will help to determine the overall seeds for the tournament.

– T.B.