Mastodons trample Jacks

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

IPFW avenged an early conference loss to the SDSU men’s basketball team by defeating the Jacks 73-63 on Jan. 31 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Jackrabbits started with a quick 8-2 lead against the Mastodons (8-13, 5-5) before IPFW finished the first half on a 16-4 run to hold the lead at halftime 36-27.

Head Coach Scott Nagy said that the difference in the first half was the disparity in free throws. The Jacks attempted only two shots from the charity stripe, making both, while IPFW was 10 of 13.

The Jacks pulled to within two points on a free throw from Kai Williams that capped a three-point play with 4:35 left in the second half.

“We could have folded up, but we came out in the second half and showed a lot of character,” Williams said.

Two late turnovers by Clint Sargent and Williams put away any hope of a Jacks comeback.

Senior Ben Beran led the Jackrabbits in scoring with 22 points, going six of eight from the foul line. Williams ended up with 15 points on six of nine shooting and a game high nine rebounds. Freshman guard Dale Moss added a career high 10 points and five rebounds.

The Jacks cleaned up on the glass, out rebounding IPFW 43-24. The Jacks also won the offensive rebound battle by a 16-4 margin, which helped SDSU outscore the Mastodons 40-20 inside the paint. However, IPFW made good on eight of their 20 three-point shots, while the Jackrabbits shot a season worst 1 of 11 from three-point land.

While pleased with the team’s fast start, Nagy said, “It is almost at a point now where the players are trying too hard. You’ve got to be a special person not to get down.”

IPFW leads the all-time series 5-1 and are currently tied for fourth in the Summit League with Western Illinois.