FORT WAYNE, Ind. – IPFW connected on 61 percent (19-31) of its shots in the second half, including hitting nine three-pointers to roll past SIUE 95-75 in men's basketball at the Gates Sports Center Saturday night.
The Mastodons won for the third consecutive game to improve to 9-4 overall. SIUE fell to 0-4 in true road games and 2-8 overall.
"We didn't execute the game plan defensively and didn't come out with enough intensity to beat a good team like IPFW tonight," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said.
SIUE trailed by eight points (39-31) at halftime following a period in which the lead changed five times. The Cougars led by as many as four points early in the first half. IPFW used an 8-0 run late in the half to push its lead to 10 at 39-29 with 1:05 to play in the half.
The Mastodons came out hot to start the second half, hitting their first six attempts from the field to swell the lead to 17 (57-40).
"We broke down defensively," Forrester said. "At one point at a timeout they were shooting 100 percent from the floor because we weren't guarding."
IPFW led by 20 (74-54) with 9:16 to play in the game, when SIUE ran off the next seven points. A Kris Davis jumper made it 74-61 with 7:08 left. It is as close as the Cougars would draw to the Mastodons the rest of the way.
Davis finished with 11 points and was one of four players in double figures for SIUE. Keaton Jackson and Maurice Wiltz each scored 14 points, while Donivine Stewart also scored 11 points. Stewart was 3 for 4 from three-point range. For Jackson the 14 points marked a new career high. He was 5 for 6 from the field, and also led SIUE with six rebounds.
IPFW's Luis Jacobo scored 20 points to lead all scorers. Pierre Bland finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Isaiah McCray and Michael Kibiloski each added 11 points. Kibiloski finished with three three-pointers.
"We scored 75 points," Forrester added. "We have to give ourselves a chance to win by playing defense."
The Cougars remain on the road to face Chicago State Monday night. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m.
We just have to make corrections," Forrester said. "And right now it's more mental than it is physical."