FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The IPFW men’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing skid, evening the teams’ record at 8-8 on the season. The Mastodons out-rebounded Denver 28-to-10 for the game, with three players reaching double-figures in the scoring column.
Mo Evans scored a game-high 16 points, hitting 5-of-9 shots from the field, with Max Landis tying his IPFW career-high with 13 points, and Joe Reed added a dozen points. Reed pulled down six rebounds – a game-high – as Michael Calder grabbed four while also dishing out a team-best three assists.
The Mastodons hit 55.0% (22-of-40) from the field, 7-of-12 (58.3%) from long range, and a season-best 94.7% (18-of-19) from the charity stripe.,
The 10 rebounds allowed are a new program Division I single-game low allowed, as the previous low was 16 set on January 22, 2009 against Western Illinois.
The Mastodons jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, before the Pioneers answered with back-to-back three-point baskets to give the visitors their first lead of the game at 6-4.
Seven straight IPFW points pushed the ‘Dons to a five-point lead, and the hosts would not trail again in the contest. After the Mastodons pushed ahead to an eight-point lead, the Pioneers scored eight in a row to tie the score at 22 apiece with five and a half minutes left in the opening half.
IPFW closed strong, ending the half on a 12-5 run to lead 34-27 at the break.
A Brett Olson three opened the scoring in the second half, before the hosts rattled off a 14-2 run to push ahead by 16 and cruised the rest of the way. The IPFW advantage grew to as many as 21 following a Steve Forbes free throw, and closed at 16 at the final buzzer.
Denver was led by Marcus Byrd who scored 14 points, while Olson scored 13 and Jalen Love 12. The Pioneers shot 48.7% from the field, and 46.2% from beyond the arc.
The Mastodons return to action on Saturday, January 10, when the team hosts the University of South Dakota in a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Gates Sports Center. The game will be aired on PBS39 within the Fort Wayne market.