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IPFW closes regular season with fifth straight win

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Mastodons knock off Oakland again

Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 9:25 am

Luis Jacobo scored 21 and Frank Gaines 20 as IPFW grabbed a Summit League road win at Oakland 74-72 in men's basketball action on Saturday.

The win was the fifth consecutive for the Mastodons (15-16, 7-9 SL), and second this season over the Grizzlies (16-15, 10-6).

The two teams will face off again next Sunday (7 p.m.) at the 2013 Summit League Tournament, which will be the third time between these two teams in a four game span. It is just the second time since 2006-07 that two NCAA Division I teams have met that frequently over a similar stretch of games.

Jacobo was 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-11 from long range, while Gaines was 8-of-19 from the field and 3-of-5 from the charity stripe.

Joe Edwards added 11 points off the bench for the Dons, while Pierre Bland set a new career-high with nine points in the win.

Mario Hines pulled down nine rebounds, as IPFW out-rebounded Oakland 40-to-37.

Bland dished out a team-high five assists, while he and Jacobo each picked up two steals. Jacobo, Gaines, and Hines each had two blocks for IPFW win the win.

The win was IPFW's third straight road win, and fifth straight to end the regular season, the longest regular-season-ending win streak since the 1992-93 team won seven in a row to end the regular season, leading up to the program's NCAA Division II Tournament berth, the program's last appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

The first half was one of a big run for each squad. The Mastodons trailed 11-9 with 16:11 to play in the half and opened a 7-1 run capped by a Jacobo three-pointer, before the Grizzlies immediately answered back with a 10-0 run to push ahead by three at 22-19.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half, there were four ties and six lead changes, before the hosts scored the final four points of the half to take a 43-38 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Mastodons would not take their first lead of the second half until Jacobo drained a three-pointer with 9:26 to play, giving IPFW a 60-57 advantage, and the Grizzlies would not lead again.

Oakland quickly answered back with a three-point play from Travis Bader, as the teams traded baskets for the next two minutes, before IPFW went on a 4-0 run on a lay-in by Jacobo and a jumper by Gaines to lead 66-62.

IPFW's advantage never reached more than four the rest of the way, and the Grizzlies tied the game one final time - the 15th tie score of the game - on Bader's first three-point make of the game with 2:09 to play; however, the hosts would not score again.

Gaines hit a jumper with 1:12 to play to provide the game-winner, and neither team would score again, as the Mastodon defense stopped Oakland on back-to-back possessions late to secure the two-point road win.

IPFW hit 47.5 percent (28-of-59) from the field in the win, while going 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) on three's, and 10-of-15 (66.7 percent) from the charity stripe. Oakland hit 24-of-62 shots (38.7 percent), and just 4-of-20 from long range, and 20-of-22 (90.9 percent) from the free throw line.

Drew Valentine scored a team-high 15 points for Oakland, while Corey Petros scored 14, and Bader 12.