FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Senior Brent Calhoun scored a career-high 27 points, 20 in the second half, as the Fort Wayne Mastodons defeated Ball State 88-80 on Wednesday (March 15) night at the Gates Center in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
The contest was the inaugural Lou Henson Classic to honor the legendary New Mexico State and Illinois head coach. The ‘Dons took home a trophy for the victory and Calhoun was named the game’s MVP. He helped Fort Wayne erase a 41-34 halftime deficit after the ‘Dons trailed by as many as 11 points in the opening half.
Fort Wayne took their first lead of the second half at the 9:12 mark on a 3-pointer by Bryson Scott. It was part of a larger 11-0 run that saw the ‘Dons go up by seven points. Ball State cut the deficit to two points with 2:32 remaining, but would never take the lead again after Scott’s trey.
Calhoun earned his 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting. He should have known he was in for a big night when early in the contest he made his first career 3-pointer.
Six Mastodons finished in double-digits. Mo Evans had 15 points with 12 assists. Bryson Scott totaled 13 points and nine rebounds. Kason Harrell, John Konchar and Xzavier Taylor each had 11 points. Konchar played all 40 minutes.
Fort Wayne fended off a Ball State team that made 14 3-pointers.
Ball State ends their season at 21-13. The ‘Dons improve to 20-12 for their second straight 20-win season. It is the first time as an NCAA Division I member and only the second time in program history the ‘Dons have won 20 games in back-to-back seasons.
In the game the ‘Dons moved into first place all-time in program history in single-season scoring with 2,807 points. They passed the 2013-14 squad which scored 2,774 points.
Fort Wayne advances in the CIT with the win. Following the conclusion of the first round on Thursday, the top three teams in the KenPom rankings will receive byes to the quarterfinals. The remaining teams will play second round games March 17-20.