MBB: Dons Win, Secure Two-Seed In Conference Tournament

OMAHA, Neb. – The IPFW men’s basketball team trailed by five points with 27 seconds left in the game; however, the squad out-scored Omaha 6-0 over the final 16 seconds, including a pair of free throws by Steve Forbes with 0.3 seconds on the clock, to give the Mastodons a 96-95 victory.

Forbes scored 21 points, hitting 8-of-10 shots from the field, while Luis Jacobo added 20. Pierre Bland had an 18-point, 10-assist double-double for the Mastodons, while Joe Edwards also added 18 points in the win.

The win improves IPFW to 22-9 on the season, the second-most wins in a season in program history, and cliches the team a No. 2 seed for the upcoming Summit League Tournament, where the team will face off against in-state rival IUPUI.

The game saw a dozen lead changes and 10 tie scores, with the largest lead gained by either team being the nine points that Omaha was leading by with eight minutes to play in regulation. IPFW led by three following a pair of Bland free throws, before the hosts ran off 10 consecutive points to lead by seven at 35-28.

The Mastodons were unable to re-take the the lead in the first half; however, was able to close the margin to two following a Brent Calhoun jumper at the halftime buzzer.

IPFW got lay-ups from Jacobo and Forbes to open the second half, taking a two-point lead, but the advantage would be short lived, as Omaha re-took the lead, and pushed the advantage to nine points following an Alex Phillips jumper with eight minutes to play in the game.

An 11-2 IPFW run – capped by a Michael Kibiloski three-pointer –  immediately followed the team’s biggest deficit of the match, tying the match at 71. The Mastodons led by four at 80-76 with 22 seconds left; however, a three-pointer by CJ Carter cut the gap to one at 80-79.

Following a pair of IPFW free throws by freshman Mo Evans, Devin Patterson drained a three-pointer with four seconds left to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, Omaha did not trail until the last half second of the game, as the hosts jumped ahead by five at 95-90 with 27 seconds to play. Steve Forbes made a pair of free throws to close the gap to three, before the ‘Dons forced a timeout and a Bland lay-in cut the deficit to one at 95-94.

The Mastodons forced yet another turnover, which was followed by a Forbes three-point attempt – in what would have been his first long-range attempt of the year – however, the junior was fouled, and calmly sank the first two free throws. With his team ahead by one, and 0.3 seconds on the clock, Forbes intentionally missed his third attempt, giving the Mastodons the slim one-point win.

IPFW shot 55.0% from the field (33-of-60), and 9-of-26 (34.6%) from long range. The team dished out 19 assists against 18 turnovers, while blocking three shots.

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