FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Behind a game-high 21 points from Rachel Rinehart and a double-double by De’Jour Young, the Fort Wayne women’s basketball team won head coach Niecee Nelson’s unofficial debut, as the Mastodons defeated cross-town foe Indiana Tech 78-46, in an exhibition game.
Young finished with a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with 20 points and three steals. Rinehart was nearly perfect from the floor, shooting 9-of-11, to finish with 21 points, eight rebounds, and a game-high six steals. Anna Lappenküper scored eight points and KeShyra McCarver added seven, as all 10 Mastodon players that saw action scored a point.
As a team, Fort Wayne contained Indiana Tech to a season-low 24.5% shooting (12-of-49) from the floor. The stingy Mastodon defense held their leading scorer Haley Cook (23.8 points per game) to seven points, and 0-for-10 from the floor. Meanwhile, the ‘Dons connected on 29-of-70 (41.4%) from the field, including 3-of-11 (27.3%) from beyond the arc and 17-of-21 (81%) at the free throw line.
Indiana Tech opened the game with a layup, but it was a Mastodon 9-0 run that put them ahead 14-5 with four minutes to play in the opening quarter. The ‘Dons extended their lead to 13 points as they began the second quarter on a 10-2 advantage. Fort Wayne closed out the half with six straight points as the Mastodons led 35-19 at the break.
The ‘Dons added a 7-0 run midway through the third quarter, before Indiana Tech converted on four free throws to end the period. Fort Wayne opened the final quarter of play with an 8-0 advantage, pushing its lead to 27 points (61-34). The Mastodons led by as many as 33 in the final quarter as they held the Warriors to five points, all free throws, in the final six minutes of the game.
Fort Wayne begins the regular season by hosting Belmont on November 11 at 11 a.m. for the team’s annual Fitness Day game.