Indiana Tech got a tremendous effort from forward Melvin Brooks, but it was for naught, as the Warriors dropped a 78-68 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference men’s basketball decision to 19th-ranked Madonna University at the Schaefer Center on Wednesday.
Brooks' 28 points his career best.
The setback was the third straight for Indiana Tech, who dropped to 14-6 and 7-5 in league play. It’s the first time the Warriors have lost three in a row since the 2009-10 season.
Meanwhile, the first-place Crusaders improved their record to 15-5 overall and 10-2 in the WHAC.
The Warriors got off to a fast start opening up a 17-7 lead seven minutes into the contest. Madonna began to chip away at the deficit, but Indiana Tech maintained its edge until Madonna's Tyler Stewart capped off a 10-3 run with a 3-pointer to give the Crusaders their first lead of the game with 2:38 left in the half.
Madonna scored the final eight points of the period and would take a 33-29 advantage at the break.
The Crusaders picked up right where they left off to begin the second stanza, scoring seven unanswered points to go ahead 40-29. MU led by as many as 13 before the Warriors started to rally back.
Trailing 55-43 with 11:35 remaining in the game, the Indiana Tech defense stopped Madonna on seven of their next eight possessions, while Antonio Cannon fueled a 16-2 run with nine points and Brooks finished it off a triple to put the Warriors ahead 59-57.
However, Madonna would answer with back-to-back three’s to jump back in front and never look back.
Brooks knocked down a pair of free throws at the 4:30 mark to get within 63-61, but a 9-0 run by the Crusaders put the game away.
Indiana Tech shot 40 percent from the field while Madonna hit 52 percent of their shots.
Both teams shot well from behind the arc with the Warriors going 9-for-17 and Madonna hitting 8-of-15. The Crusaders also controlled the glass, pulling down 42 rebounds compared to Tech’s 25.
The Warriors did force Madonna into 14 turnovers, converting those into 11 points, while committing just four themselves.
Antonio Landers had a great game on the defensive end tying his season-best with five steals.
Brooks added 14 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the year. Cannon followed with 15 points and Jordan Hickman finished with five points and seven assists.
The Warriors will travel to Lawrence Tech on Saturday at 3 p.m.