IPFW opened the home portion of its 2013-14 women's basketball season with a big-time opponent, as well as a big-time performance. But the Mastodons' late rally against Indiana fell short Tuesday at the Gates Sports Center, and IPFW dropped an 85-80 decision.
IPFW forward Amanda Hyde left an impression on the Hoosiers with a game-high 33 points, including hitting all 14 of her free-throw attempts.
The Mastodons made all 24 of their free-throw attempts to set a program mark.
Hyde also added four assists and two steals. Former Angola High School standout Rachel Rinehart scored 18 points off the bench for the Mastodons, and Rebecca Bruner added 12 points.Indiana jumped out to an early eight-point margin, but the Mastodon defense stiffened and held the visitors without a field goal for over three minutes.
Despite the defensive effort, IPFW was unable to trim its deficit and had further problems when Hyde and Stefanie Mauk went to the bench with a pair of early fouls.
At that point, Rinehart came off the bench and bounced her inbounds pass off the Indiana defender's back and laid it in for an easy two points.
She later hit a pair of free throws to cut the Hoosier lead to 26-16.
Hyde returned to action and scored on an old-fashioned 3-point play and then drilled consecutive jumpers. Rinehart drained a 3-point shot and IPFW had clawed its way back at 29-26.
The Hoosiers stretched their lead to seven, but the Mastodons answered with a pair of free throws by Rinehart and a jumper by Bruner to cut the lead back down to three.
Former South Side High School star Ariana Simmons hit a pair of free throws for IPFW and the Mastodons trailed 43-38 at the intermission.
Indiana raced out to a 54-44 advantage early in the second half, but Mauk sank a three-pointer and later a pair of Hyde free throws pulled the Mastodons to within six.
But the Hoosiers responded to every IPFW rally and with just under six minutes remaining held a 12-point advantage.
Hyde connected on a 3-point shot, and the IPFW defense stymied the Hoosiers' offense for a period again, but Indiana would connect on 11 free throws down the stretch.
With less than a minute remaining, IPFW trailed 80-71 when Rinehart hit a three-point shot. She later made a layup with 38 seconds left to pull the Dons to within 80-76.
After the Dons fouled an Indiana player, the Hoosiers were called for a technical foul. Hyde made both free throws to cut the Hoosier' lead to two. But Indiana would hit four straight free throws to cement the game.
Rachel Mauk dished out four assists in the defeat, while twin sister Stefanie Mauk led IPFW with five rebounds.
The two sides had nearly identical numbers from the floor as the Dons made 26 of 59 while the Hoosiers connected on 26 of 54. The difference came at the free-throw line as the Hoosiers made 29 of 40 chances.
The previous mark for the Mastodons connecting all of their free throws was when they hit 19 of 19 on Jan. 28, 2012, at home against South Dakota State.
Hyde's 33 points were the second most for a game in her career, and her 14 free-throws made rank 10th in IPFW single-game history.
IPFW has now scored a three-point field goal in 436 consecutive games.
Former Canterbury High School standout Tabitha Gerardot scored 10 points for Indiana, while Concordia Lutheran graduate Andrea Neubauer played three minutes for the Hoosiers, but failed to score.
IPFW will travel to Loyola-Chicago at 8:30 p.m. Friday.