FORT WAYNE— IPFW amassed their first division I post-season win Wednesday night when they knocked off Akron in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
The Mastodons closed out a 97-91 victory despite the Zips shooting a blistering 65% from the field in a game hosted by the IPFW Gates' Center, another playoff first for the Dons.
"Huge victory for our team," noted Dons coach Tony Jasick whose team improved to 25-10 with the win. "When I say team I mean the IPFW team of players, coaches, marketing, ticket people, and administration for allowing it to happen. This was an unbelievable event for our kids and for the community."
In front of a crowd of about 1,800 people, IPFW never seemed out of the game.
"There was no doubt in my mind that the crowd impacted the game with our fans cheering," Jasick praised. "Overall it was a very successful night for the university."
The game was close throughout tied at 72-72 with 7:30 to play but senior Michael Kibiloski would give the Dons the lift they needed with two straight three-pointers. Joe Edwards would hit a pair of free throws to make it a six-point lead and big man Steve Forbes would pick up a key bucket and the foul a few plays later to push the advantage to 83-76.
The lead would grow to 12 points for IPFW on a 6-0 run from Forbes alone during a key sequence with 3:30 to play. The junior made another basket plus the foul but after the free throw missed a great hustle play from Joe Reed ended with Forbes back at the line for two more freebies. The Zips would turnover their next possession and Forbes would strike again against the tired Akron defense for the 91-79 lead.