IPFW improves to 5-1 in Summit League play

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Redshirt-senior Max Landis/Indianapolis scored 17 points to lead IPFW to a 79-74 men’s college basketball Summit League home victory past North Dakota State University on Thursday night at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne.  Redshirt-freshman John Konchar/Chicago, Ill. grabbed a game and career-high 19 rebounds, along with 10 points, for his third consecutive and sixth double-double this season for the host Mastodons (16-5, 5-1 Summit League), ranked No. 21 in this week’s The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.  Konchar tied the school Division I single-game rebounding record, and it equals the third-best single-game total all-time.  Kory Brown and Paul Miller led the visiting Bison (13-7, 3-3 Summit League) with their respective 23-point efforts, also a career-high for Brown.  IPFW remains in Fort Wayne to host in-state school IUPUI at the Gates Sports Center on Saturday night, January 23, at 7 p.m.

The closely-played contest featured 10 lead changes and seven ties throughout, as IPFW started fast and led by as many as seven points in the first half.  It was 17-10 at 13:38 after a three-point field goal by junior DeAngelo Stewart/Detroit, Mich., and it was 22-15 at 11:01 following a jumper from freshman Charles Ruise Jr./Glen St. Mary, Fla.  NDSU used a 13-2 run to go ahead 28-24 at 5:49, getting eight quick points from Brown.  The Mastodons battled back to lead 34-33 at 2:57 after a three-pointer by Konchar, but the Bison took a 37-36 lead at the intermission.

NDSU continued its momentum to begin the second half, scoring 10 unanswered points to take its largest lead of the game at 53-46 with 15:39 remaining.  Khy Kabellis scored seven of the points, while Brown added a three-pointer.  The Bison still led by five points at 59-54 with 10:23 left after a layup from Brown, however, IPFW displayed the resilience it has demonstrated all season and responded with a 14-3 run to lead 68-62 at 1:27 following a pair of free throws by Landis, who gave the hosts the lead for good at 63-62 (6:02) on a layup.  The Mastodons largest lead of the game was 76-68 with just 13 seconds on the clock, as the home team secured the triumph with 14-17 free throws over the final 4:03.  Landis was 5-6, senior Joe Reed/Greenwood was 4-5, Konchar was 3-4 and Ruise Jr. was 2-2.

Landis led IPFW with his 17 points, adding a game-high seven assists and two steals.  Konchar added his 10 points and career-high 19 rebounds for his sixth collegiate double-double, third-straight, along with four assists.  In addition to tying the program Division I record, the 19 rebounds are also a Summit League individual high this season.  Reed finished with 15 points and nine rebounds for the Mastodons, Stewart had 11 points, and senior Michael Calder/Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Ruise Jr. each added nine points.  IPFW shot 42% (28-66) from the field, including 30% (7-23) on three-pointers and 73% (16-22) at the free throw line.  The Mastodons had a 22-9 advantage in bench points.

Brown and Miller led North Dakota State with their respective 23-point efforts, followed by Kabellis with 10 points for the Bison.  NDSU shot 46% (29-63) from the field, including 46% (10-22) on three-pointers and 60% (6-10) at the line.

IPFW was playing NDSU for the 22nd time overall since 2005-06, and the closely-played series is now tied, 11-11.  The Mastodons are enjoying their finest start to a season as a Division I program (2001-02) with the 16-5 record.

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