INDIANAPOLIS – SIUE connected on a season-high 57.4 percent of its shots Wednesday on its way to an 82-81 win over IUPUI at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
The Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 2-6. IUPUI dropped to 2-5 with the defeat.
"Winning on the road is never easy," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "The guys were able to persevere through some adversity. (IUPUI) made some runs, as the home team is supposed to do, and we battled and fought and found a way to get a win and that's the important thing."
Jalen Henry led four SIUE scorers in double figures. Henry finished a rebound shy of his third double-double of the season with 21 points and nine rebounds. Henry scored 18 in the first half and eventually fouled out the contest. Daniel Kinchen scored 16 points including six at the free throw line. David McFarland enjoyed his best game in an SIUE uniform, scoring 15 points. He was 4-5 from the field and 3-3 from three-point range. Christian Ellis collected his fourth consecutive double figure scoring game, with 10 points. Jaylen McCoy scored nine points.
"The guys that we need to produce, produced," Harris said. "Daniel Kinchen has struggled the last few games and he stepped up and made some shots. Jaylen McCoy has been consistent. David McFarland had his best game of the season."
The Cougars shot 63.6 percent (14-22) from the field in the first half and led 42-41 at the break. For the game, SIUE connected on 27-47 attempts from the field. The Cougars were 11-16 (68.8 percent) from three-point range. The 11 three-pointers are the most for SIUE in a game since the team in 12 two separate times during the 2014-15 season.
"We've struggled, we're banged up and we had guys in foul trouble tonight, but the guys continue to fight," Harris said. "Our last four practices have been some of our better practices this season. We're playing better because of that. Guys are starting to understand that how you practice is how you play and we have to maintain that."
The Cougars built as much as a 10-point lead twice in the second half. It was a nine-point cushion after two free throws from Keenan Simmons made it 65-56 with 11:31 to play. IUPUI then went on an 8-0 run to pull within one at 65-64.
McCoy gave the Cougars the lead for good with 2:12 to play with a three-pointer to make it 80-78. Simmons made it 82-78 before Aaron Brennan brought the Jaguars back within one with a three-pointer with 1:12 left.
IUPUI got the ball back with four seconds to play after a missed free throw, but failed to get a shot off before the final buzzer.
The Jaguars finished 30-60 from the field and outrebounded SIUE 31-30. Brennan led the way with 25 points. Evan Hall had 12 points for the Jaguars.
"I give IUPUI credit because they scratched and they clawed and they made plays," Harris said. "I am a little disappointed because they outrebounded us tonight and they got the majority of the 50-50 balls."
The Cougars return home for a Sunday afternoon contest with South Alabama. It is SIUE's first home game since Nov. 22.
"You can't take anything for granted," Harris said. "We have to have a good practice tomorrow and a good practice on Friday and get prepared for the weekend. This (win) will help us. You get over that hump and hopefully this will give us a little more confidence to continue to push."