Fort Wayne women earn first conference victory

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Four players scored in double figures as the Fort Wayne women’s basketball team defeated Omaha 65-62.

De’Jour Young led the Mastodons with 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals, and also added three assists. Zaria Atkins finished with 15 points to go along with a career- and game-high six assists. Rachel Rinehart added 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Anna Lappenküper also finished in double-digits with 11 points and three assists.

As a team, Fort Wayne tied a season-high with 17 assists and tied a season-low with nine turnovers.

The ‘Dons jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of 7-0 runs and a 14-4 advantage to finish the first quarter leading 18-8. Omaha came back in the second with a 19-6 stretch to tie the game with 2:43 to play in the half. Young hit a jumper from the top of the key with seven seconds left to give the ‘Dons a 31-29 lead at halftime.

The Mavericks began the third quarter with a 13-5 advantage and led 42-36. The Mastodons bounced back with six straight points to tie the game with under two to go in the period. The two sides traded baskets throughout the fourth quarter, as the score remained tied 54-54 with three minutes to play.

With Fort Wayne trailing by one, 57-56, Atkins hit a 3-pointer with a minute to go to give the ‘Dons the lead. Rinehart converted four of her six free throw opportunities in the final 34.1 seconds to secure the Mastodon victory.

For the game, the ‘Dons connected on 23-of-55 (41.8%) from the floor including 5-of-12 (41.7%) of their three-point attempts and were 14-of-18 (77.8%) at the free throw line.

Fort Wayne returns to action when it hosts IUPUI for its annual Pink Out game Saturday, January 28 at 2 p.m.