FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Behind a career-high 26 points from Rachel Rinehart, the IPFW women’s basketball team overcame an eight-point second half deficit to defeat Milwaukee 78-72. The Mastodons improve their record to 5-7 on the season.
Rinehart’s career night came on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor and connecting on a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line. Haley Seibert went for 14 points and tied a career-high with seven assists.
Keanna Gary and Kamilah Carter came off the bench to finish in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Gary also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds. Mur Hagerman had a solid night for the ‘Dons with a season-high eight points, to go along with four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.
IPFW raced out of the gate with nine consecutive points to begin the game, as the Mastodons held Milwaukee without a point until the 15:37 mark. The Panthers responded with an 11-3 run over a 2:25 span to cut the ‘Dons lead to one at 12-11. Seibert and Brett Green answered with back-to-back triples to push the lead to seven.
With 5:39 left in the game and IPFW leading 31-23, Milwaukee made another run, this time 14-1, to take its first lead of the game. Hagerman knocked down her second three-pointer of the half with 42 second left as the Mastodons trailed 37-35 at the break.
Rinehart knocked down the first shot of the second half, tying the score, but the Panthers answered with the next eight points to hold their largest lead of the game. Capping off a 10-0 Mastodon run, Rinehart knocked down a layup and the ensuing free throw to take a 47-45 lead with 11:10 to go.
As the two sides battled down the stretch, IPFW led by one, 65-64, with 3:58 to play. Over the next 2:56, the Mastodons out-scored Milwaukee 10-2 to hold off a late Panther charge.
For the game, the ‘Dons connected on 48 percent (25-of-50) from the floor, 11-of-27 (40.7%) on three’s, and 19-of-24 (79.2%) at the free throw line.
IPFW closes out its non-league schedule at home against Trine on December 30 for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.