MACOMB, Ill. – Despite overcoming a nine-point second half deficit, the IPFW women’s basketball team fell to Western Illinois on the road 68-65.
Stefanie Mauk led IPFW with a season-high 18 points on a career-best 6-of-11 shooting night from behind the arc and grabbed five rebounds. Amanda Hyde added 14 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Mastodons. Haley Seibert also scored in double figures for the ‘Dons with 13 points and tied a career-high with five steals.
The ‘Dons got off to a rocky start as Western Illinois opened the game on a 6-0 run. IPFW chipped away at the Leatherneck lead, trailing by one, 12-11, with eight minutes to go in the half.
WIU answered with an 8-4 run, taking a 20-15 lead. With 3:02 to go, Stefanie Mauk hit the Mastodons first three-pointer of the night and twin sister Rachel connected on a three of her own on the following possession. Stefanie closed out the half with back-to-back three-pointers to give the ‘Dons a 27-24 lead heading into the locker room.
The Leathernecks tied the game at 31-31 four minutes into the second half, and a 9-0 run gave them a 43-34 lead with 11:36 to go in the game.
IPFW made a run of their own, connecting on five straight shots, three of which came from downtown, as the Mastodons took a 52-48 lead with 6:46 left.
In a game that saw 10 lead changes, Western Illinois stormed back with a 5-0 run to go up one, 53-52 with 5:31 to play.
Down by three, Seibert hit a three-pointer to tie the game 60-60 with 2:18 left, but back-to-back baskets by the Leathernecks gave them the lead for good.
Seibert delivered on her third three-pointer of the game with 47.1 second to go to pull the ‘Dons within one at 66-65, but they would be unable to pull any closer in the final seconds.
On the night IPFW shot 23-of-55 (41.8%) from the floor, 12-of-33 (36.4%) from three-point range and 7-of-9 (77.8%) at the charity stripe.
IPFW returns home for a weakened series beginning February 6 against league-leading South Dakota State for a 7 p.m. tip-off.