FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Behind a second-straight career-high scoring effort from senior Steve Forbes, the IPFW men’s basketball team held on against a feisty Miami (Ohio) RedHawk squad for an 86-78 win at the Gates Sports Center on Saturday evening in the second game of a women’s / men’s basketball doubleheader. The win is also the fifth over a member of the Mid-American Conference in the last six opportunities.
Forbes scored 25 points, hitting 8-of-12 shots from the field and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe, while also pulling down 10 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double, the first Mastodon to put together back-to-back double-doubles since Deilvez Yearby did it during the 2009-10 season.
Mo Evans scored 15 points with a game-high-tying six assists, while Joe Edwards and Max Landis each scored 13, Edwards tying for the game-high in assists.Joe Reed narrowly missed the double-figure plateau with nine. McCray pulled down six rebounds as the Mastodons out-rebounded Miami 30-to-21.
The Mastodons, who improved to 5-2 for the second consecutive season, never trailed in the game, scoring the first five points and 13 of the first 15 overall.
Miami, which overcame a 16-point halftime deficit against the Mastodons a season ago, fought their way back this season, and climbed back to within two points at 25-23, before the Mastodons closed the second half on a 5-4 run, sending the hosts into the locker room with a three-point advantage.
IPFW opened the second half on a 16-4 run over the first five minutes of the second half, opening a game-high 15-point advantage. In similar fashion to the first half, the RedHawks chipped away at the deficit, closing the gap to as few as three, including with 3:39 to play in the game.
Over the last three and a half minutes the Mastodons went 5-of-7 from the field and iced the game by converting on 11-of-13 free throw chances, stretching the lead to its final margin of eight at 86-78.
The Mastodons hit a season-high 55.3 percent (26-of-47) of its shots in the game, and 33.3% (7-of-21) from long range. The team also made a season-high 27 free throws on 37 attempts, a percentage of .730. Miami was 27-of-51 (52.9%) ,from the field, 5-of-16 (31.3%) from long range and 19-of-22 (86.4%) on its free tries.
Eric Washington and Willie Moore each scored 24 for the RedHawks, while Washington led the team with four assists and LJ Livingston pulled down five rebounds.
IPFW returns to action on Monday, December 8, when the team travels to West Lafayette to take on the Purdue Boilermakers in a 7 p.m. tip-off of a game that will be broadcast on ESPNU.