No. 6 Denver shocks No. 2 IUPUI in overtime

IUPUI fell to a No. 6 seeded Denver 76-69 in overtime to conclude a back-and-forth game that saw four lead changes and four ties.

The Jaguars have statistically played the past five as up-and-down scoring games, including the yesterday’s matchup against NDSU.

“From beginning to end, it was a pure battle,” Denver’s coach Kerry Cremeans said. “You saw two teams fighting for everything to be able to get to the finals.”

After the Pioneers finished the first half, in which they led by as many as 15, leading 33-24, the  tide turned in the second half wherein IUPUI outscored them by nine before Denver won the overtime 13-6.

A strong stat contributor for the Pioneers was Jordan Johnston with 15 total points in her 28 minutes of play. Like yesterday, Paige Bradley contributed large minutes, today with 42.

The first half proved difficult for IUPUI in terms of shooting percentage as the Jaguars shot only 20.6 percent to Denver’s 37 percent. Shots turned around in the second half as IUPUI upped their field goal percentage to 42.4, averaging 30.3 percent on the game.

“Our offense predicated on defense,” IUPUI’s DeAirra Goss said. “We weren’t getting stops so it was hard to get into an offensive flow.”

The final minutes of play showcased an IUPUI strategy to put the ball in the hands of Goss, who posted 20 points on the game.

“We tried to put Nicole [Rogers] in the corner,” IUPUI coach Austin Parkinson said. “But as the game goes, it was hard to tell if she was open or not. I want the ball to be in my best players’ hands and I’d rather go down with DeAirra than with anybody else.”

Both teams brought fire and intensity to the court. The Pioneers will seek their first-ever Summit League Championship in tomorrow’s championship game against the USD at 1 p.m.