November 13, 2011

SPORTS: Todd Howard Picks Up First Win In Season Opener

by Spencer Grosvenor
Donovan Gibbs shoots over an
Anderson defender. Photo by Rachel Hale

Todd Howard won first career game as the IUPUI head coach Friday night 101-68 over Anderson University.

A packed crowd of 1,215 attended the tipoff of the 2011-2012 men’s basketball season with the Jaguars facing the Anderson Ravens. Friday night gave Jaguar students, alumni and other fans to watch their longtime assistant coach run his first NCAA game.

Greg Rice
Photo by Rachel Hale
Once the game tipped off, the Jaguars came out with a fury of unanswered points, lead by Senor forward Christian Siakam. Just two minutes into the game, the Jaguars were ahead 12-1, forcing an early Anderson timeout. Siakam’s size proved to be a difficult variable to overcome for the Ravens, as he scored 17 first half points. 

“I feel great… (I’ll) do whatever to help my team,” Siakam said following the game. “I will go inside and I will do rebounds, we just had to go 1-0.  We just had to get this one.”

IUPUI senior forward Alex Young was able to find his shooting rhythm in the first half as well, scoring 11 of his 20 points before the break.  Young also led his team in rebounds with five and four assists in the half.  He also scored 8 points in a 50 second span, helping the Jaguars to a 14 to 2 run late in the first half, taking a commanding 33-14 lead.

The Ravens would have a few opportunities to trim the Jaguars large lead late in the half, finding ways to score on defensive miscues by the home team. The Jaguars would shake it off coming out of a timeout to finish the half strong with a 52-29 lead.

Anderson began the 2nd half with things going their way temporarily. They continued to throw off the Jaguars defense and go on a 13-7 run, narrowing the lead as close as it would be for the remainder of the game. IUPUI answered back with a big run of their own built off Anderson turnovers and many fast break scoring drives, constructing a 73-44 lead.

Lyonell Gaines
Photo by Rachel Hale
IUPUI corrected some deficiencies from the preseason as well, hitting 13-of-16 from the free throw line and turning the ball over just seven times against 18 assisted buckets. The Jaguars also dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Ravens 40-30 overall and grabbing 18 offensive rebounds. Siakam led all players with nine boards, including six on offense.

“We’ve had a very good process of getting better,” Howard said of his team so far. “The exhibitions prepare you, the scrimmages prepare you, it sets the tone for when you play.

“Happy for the guys because they deserve that kind of outing…we played our brand of basketball, we pressed, we made threes, we attacked the glass, and took care of the ball.”

The Jaguars will take their hot start to the University of Arkansas-Little Rock as part of the Auto-Owners Spartan Invitational. Tip-off Tuesday is at 7 p.m. ET. You can listen to the game on 1260 WNDE and, and follow the action at

Anderson 29-39--68
IUPUI 52-49--101

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