It was a bittersweet homecoming for IPFW guard Isaiah McCray on Wednesday. The sophomore scored a team-best 10 points while playing just minutes from his Baltimore hometown, but the Mastodons fell 54-49 at Navy in men’s basketball action.
McCray sank 3-for-6 shots from the field, including 3-for-3 from long range, while adding three rebounds, an assist, and a blocked shot. He also had a made three-pointer taken from the books at the end of both the first and second half, as each time the ball was in his hand as the clock struck zero.
Mario Hines scored eight points in the defeat, while Michael Kibiloski scored seven, with Luis Jacobo, Joe Edwards, and Herbert Graham each adding six. Edwards and Graham each had two assists, while Kibiloski and Edwards pulled down a game-high-tying six rebounds apiece. IPFW outrebounded Navy 36 to 26.
The Mastodons struggled at the charity stripe, as they connected on just 40 percent (6-of-15) of their free throws. IPFW hit 17-of-46 from the field (37 percent), and 9-of-22 (40.9 percent) from long range.
For the first time this season, IPFW (4-4) never led in the game.
Navy (4-4) jumped out to a 14-2 lead through the first six and a half minutes of the contest and trailing by a dozen, IPFW scored nine straight points on back-to-back three pointers from Graham and Jacobo, before a three from McCray cut the gap to just three halfway through the opening period.
After Navy pushed the lead to five with 9:37 to play, both teams hit an offensive lull, as neither team could find the bottom of the net for the next three minutes, before IPFW junior guard Kevin Harden drained a jumper to cut the gap to three at 16-13 with 6:31 to play in the stanza.
IPFW closed to as few as two at 18-16 on a Graham three, however, the Dons could not score in the final 4:37, as Navy ran off six straight points to take a 24-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
With 14:05 to play, a jumper from IPFW junior guard Pierre Bland in the lane closed the gap to a single point, and the Mastodons trailed by one two other times, the last being with 10:41 remaining after a Jacobo free throw. Navy then responded with nine straight points.
Facing its largest deficit of the game, IPFW fought back by scoring seven straight points, capped by an Edwards three-pointer, and a McCray three with 44 seconds on the clock cut the gap to three. However, that would be as close as the team would come to pulling out the win.
The Mastodons will host Miami (Ohio) in the school's homecoming game on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum.