Despite an IPFW career-high 19 points from Luis Jacobo, and a 10-point, six-steal effort from Joe Edwards, the IPFW Mastodons were downed by the Western Illinois Leathernecks by a 62-50 final score on Saturday.
Jacobo went 7-of-16 from the field, and 4-of-8 from long range for the Mastodons, while Edwards was 5-of-11 from the field.
Edwards' six steals are tied for the seventh-most in a game in school history, and the most since Jakari Johnson picked up six against Marygrove on December 1, 2007.
Michael Kibiloski and Isaiah McCray each pulled down six rebounds, while Edwards dished out a team-high four assists, with McCray and Frank Gaines each giving out three. IPFW had an 11-to-5 assist-to-turnover ratio in the game, and pulled down 15 offensive rebounds.
The Mastodons and Leathernecks fought back-and-forth for the first seven minutes of the game, with IPFW leading WIU 8-6 with 13:50 to play after a Mario Hines basket in the lane.
The team proceeded to hit a cold spell, going over six minutes without a basket, as the Leathernecks ran off a 16-2 run to lead 22-10 lead before Edwards drained a running jumper in the lane to snap the cold spell.
IPFW found themselves trailing by as many as 14 after a Terell Parks basket that put the score at 26-12; and the Mastodons cut into the gap by one at the break, trailing 31-19 after 20 minutes of action.
The Leatherneck lead grew to 17 just over three minutes into the second half, before the Mastodon defense started to take hold, keeping Western Illinois without a field goal for over eight minutes; although IPFW could only climb to within six, capping a 13-2 run with a Jacobo three-point basket with 10:58 left in the game.
Western Illinois pushed back with a run of their own, taking the lead to 18 with 3:40 to play, before IPFW closed the game on a 12-4 run, to give the game its 62-50 final margin.
The Mastodons were 18-of-57 from the field (31.6 percent), and 4-of-21 on 3's (19 percent), while making 10-of-23 charity stripe attempts (43.5 percent). Western Illinois was 19-of-39 (48.7 percent) shooting in the game, including a blistering 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from long range, and making 18-of-25 free throws (72 percent).
Adam Link and Jack Houpt each scored 16 points for Western Illinois, while Ceola Clark scored 14 and dished out six assists.
The Mastodons return to action on Wednesday when they host the Naval Academy in Military Heroes Night, in which pre-registered veterans receive a free ticket, and their guests can get tickets for just $5 apiece.