The 2014-2015 season consisted of many historical moments for the University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team, including a No. 1 national ranking, several individual milestones and the first-ever trip to the “Sweet 16” in program history. That season came to an end with an overall record of 25-6 on March 17, however, as the Greyhounds fell in the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship Midwest Regional Final to its rival, the Bellarmine University Knights, 81-72.
In front of a sellout crowd of 2,196 fans, the Greyhounds jumped out to an early 14-7 lead in less than four minutes, giving the No. 3 seeded team momentum at the start of the game. The Knights fired back quickly, however, going on a scoring run that would eventually put them over UIndy by double-digit points, 33-23, with 2:38 to go in the first half. In response to the run, UIndy took back its momentum to end the half as they closed the lead to just three points, 35-32, following a 3-pointer by junior guard Jordan Loyd with five seconds left before intermission.
In the second half, UIndy quickly took back the lead in less than a minute, 37-35, following a pair of free throws by senior forward/center Joe Lawson. The two teams would continue to trade baskets for the next several minutes of the half, with several ties and a few lead changes, until the Knights went on a 9-0 scoring run at the 8:04 mark, seizing a 71-60 lead with 4:06 remaining. The Greyhounds could not bring the deficit to any less than six points throughout the remainder of the game, as Bellarmine continued to make shots that held off the Greyhounds, securing the top-seed and host team’s Elite Eight bid and the victory.
Following the end of the game, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard said that the Knights’ game plan kept UIndy from accomplishing what they wanted to do to have a successful outcome.
“These guys [Bellarmine] proved today why they are the league champs. They did not crack under pressure,” he said. “We threw everything we had at them today, and they did a great job of responding to every run that we made.”
The Greyhounds will say goodbye to four seniors who will be moving on from the program this year, including Lawson, guards Kendall Vieke and Dai-Jon Parker and a fifth-year senior in forward Brennan McElroy. Parker, who transferred from Vanderbilt University before arriving at UIndy this past year, said that even though his time with the Greyhounds’ program had been short, he enjoyed it.
“For me, it [the experience] has been a blessing, and I really appreciate the coaching staff, as well as Coach Gouard, for taking me under their wings and basically showing me the ropes in and out. It’s my first time being around here [in Indianapolis] for a year, and I got to meet a great group of guys and a great group of seniors,” he said. “It’s not over for us, and when I say us, I mean UIndy. We are going to be here [in the national tournament] next year. We are going to be here for years to come, and I just want to make sure everybody knows that.”