It was nothing less than continued statistical dominance for the University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team this past week, as the Greyhounds claimed their first homestead of the season with back-to-back victories.
On Saturday, Nov. 22, the Greyhounds claimed a lopsided 98-64 victory over Purdue University North Central. The victory extended the Greyhounds’ overall season record to 4-0, 2-0 in Nicoson Hall.
In their victory, the Greyhounds opened with a sharp-shooting performance that led to a 21-5 lead early in the first half, and from the point, UIndy did not look back as it cruised to a blowout win. The Greyhounds were led in scoring by senior forward Brennan McElroy, who posted 19 points along with eight rebounds.
At the conclusion of the game, all five Greyhound starters finished with double-figured points, as the team distributed the ball on offense equally throughout the contest. After the victory, McElroy said that he has been impressed with how well the team has already built a solid foundation of chemistry.
“We picked it [the chemistry] up real fast. We have a lot of new guys, a lot of transfers, and we expected that chemistry to take a little longer,” he said. “But with so many unselfish players, there is no one [who is worried about their own statistics]. Like [Head Men’s Basketball] Coach[Stan Gouard] said before, no one comes into the locker room after the game saying ‘How many points did I have? How many assists or how many rebounds did I get?’ Everyone on the team is unselfish, and I think that’s what makes us pretty good.”
Two days prior, the Greyhounds achieved a 84-63 victory on their season home opener against Grace College. The team started off by trailing the Lancers early, but quickly jumped back into action and was up 40-24 by halftime.
Senior forward and center Joe Lawson, McElroy and junior guard Lucas Barker each had double digit points and rebounds by the end of the night. Lawson also tied the university record of seven blocks in the game, a record that has been in place and untouched at UIndy since 1977.
The Greyhounds travelled to Lewis University the weekend before to compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic/Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament where they finished 2-0 after defeating both Northern Michigan University and Malone University.
The Greyhounds ended the tournament weekend by beating Northern Michigan 88-51 on Nov. 15. Lawson led the Greyhounds with 22 points, and senior guard Dai Jon Parker and junior guard Jordan Loyd finished with 11 points each.
In its game against Malone, the team took a doubled-digit lead early and never let the Pioneers within reach of taking over. Lawson led the game, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while McElroy followed with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Kendall Vieke finished with 11 points, freshman guard Martyce Kimbrough put up nine points and freshman guard Eric Davidson claimed eight points.
The Greyhounds shot 54 percent from the field, which was an improvement from the exhibition game against the Indiana University Hoosiers on Nov. 10 and something Gouard said the team needed to work on the most.
“They made shots and we didn’t. We’ve got to make sure our guys start investing time in getting the shots up. IU got into transition in the second half and that really hurt us,” Gouard said.
In the game against the Hoosiers, the Greyhounds started off strong with a 17-6 lead and led by as much as 11 points in the first half. The Hoosiers adjusted, however, and by the end of the first half were up 42-28.
Loyd matched Hoosier junior guard Kevin Yogi Ferrell’s game high of 19 points. Lawson followed with 17 points and eight rebounds, and McElroy earned eight points, 12 rebounds and four steals.
Despite the loss, Loyd said the team learned a lot on what to build off of and has great anticipations for the rest of the season.
“We had expectations of coming in and winning the game. I think we started off really well. We didn’t retaliate the way we wanted to, but overall I think we have some positives we can build on,” Loyd said “We learned we’re a hard team, and that we can fight. I think we could have shot the ball a little better and maybe not have settled so much, but I think we’re going to be fine.”
Gouard said that while he was disappointed with the loss, he was not shocked by the Hoosiers’ performance in Assembly Hall and saw a lot of positive things happen for the Greyhounds.
“I’ve watched enough of these guys and I’m a big fan of the IU program. I’ve seen a lot of Yogi’s playing, and I used to go to his high school games to watch him play. Those guys didn’t surprise me at all, they really stepped up to the challenge tonight.” Gouard said. “We came running out of those gates tonight. One thing I didn’t question was their heart. It’s hard to go out when you’ve got a guy like Ferrell, but our guys put out on defense.”
The Greyhounds will be back in action at home this Friday, Nov. 28, against Tiffin University in the UIndy Thanksgiving Classic. Game time is set for 7:45 p.m.