The Seton Hill University Griffins shot a blazing 54.5 percent from the floor and made 25 of 29 free throws to send IUP to a regular-season-closing loss Wednesday in Greensburg.
The matchup featured two of the three leading scorers in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference: IUP’s Brandon Norfleet (senior, communications media) and Seton Hill’s Kameron Taylor.
Norfleet and Taylor battled all night, but by the end, Taylor had the last laugh. The senior guard had game-highs of 30 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in 40 minutes.
Norfleet ended the game with 20 points, six assists and four rebounds in 39 minutes. Norfleet ends the regular season with a 22.5 point-per-game average, leading the PSAC, while Taylor is third with 21.
Half of IUP’s points came off the bench, with Daddy Ugbede (senior, communications media) scoring a team- and career-high 26 points in just 24 minutes. Ugbede shot 10 of 15 from the floor and 6 of 7 from the free throw line. He also grabbed five rebounds.
“My teammates fed me the ball,” Ugbede said. “The offense was doing very well, and we have to take it day by day to continue that success.”
IUP (20-7, 17-5) earned the No. 1 seed and a first-round divisional bye in the upcoming PSAC Tournament.
The Crimson Hawks will host the winner of No. 4 University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and No. 5 Seton Hill (13-13, 11-11). IUP dispatched UPJ twice this season, winning 86-74 and 84-77.
IUP split the season series with Seton Hill after this loss and an 81-63 blowout win on Jan. 20. Even with the idea of IUP and Seton Hill matching up for a third time, eyebrows weren’t raised.
“We don’t care who we play,” Norfleet said. “We feel like we can beat them and any other PSAC team. We didn’t match Seton Hill’s intensity on its Senior Night. They were fighting for a PSAC spot and had a little extra on us, but it won’t happen again.”
IUP hosts the UPJ-Seton Hill winner at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.