IUPUI takes 3rd

With Ron Hunter on the sidelines it is hard to pay attention to the game at hand.

After a great play, the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis coach high-stepped it down the sidelines like Deion Sanders at the end of a touchdown-scoring punt return. Other times he could be seen two feet onto the court, imploring his team to push the ball up court or enthusiastically clapping.

"I've always been that way," Hunter said of his passion. "I'm worse in practice. But those kids feed off my energy. That's how I coach. I've coached that way for 20 years now. Those kids understand that. They need that energy."

Hunter had good reason to be excited. His Jaguars held off a late charge by Rice to win the consolation game in the Blue & Gold Classic 58-56 Saturday evening.

After struggling the night before against Winthrop, George Hill scored a team-high 16 points, including a runner in the lane with 2.3 seconds left on the clock to win the game for the Jaguars.

Rice got the ball to a wide-open Cory Pflieger with time left on the clock, but his three-point attempt rimmed out, and Hunter walked off the court with his arm wrapped around Hill.

Winthrop 73, IUPUI 50

In the early going Friday it was hard to fathom that Winthrop had challenged Gonzaga in the first round of the 2005 NCAA tournament.

Four and a half minutes into the first game of the Blue & Gold Classic the Eagles were shooting 1-for-6 from the floor and trailing IUPUI 6-2. Then Chris Gaynor hit three straight three-pointers, giving Winthrop a lead it would never relinquish.

"He did a really good job of jump starting us," said Winthrop head coach Gregg Marshall after his team's 73-50 win. "That's usually not his forte, but we'll take it. … He's our floor general but as he proved tonight he can also shoot."