PEORIA, Ill. - IPFW senior forward Luis Jacobo made just one shot all night in the Mastodons' game at Bradley on Tuesday. However, it was a significant one.
Trailing 61-60 with 27 seconds left, Jacobo made a 3-point basket to give the Mastodons a 63-61 lead. That shot was followed by a pair of free throws by redshirt junior center Steve Forbes icing the 65-61 victory with less than two seconds remaining.
The Mastodons (8-4) put four players into double-figure scoring, led by Isaiah McCray's - who became the eighth different Mastodon player to lead the team in scoring this season - with 12 points, while Michael Kibiloski and Forbes each scored 11, and Joe Edwards added 10. Mo Evans was just off of the double-figure pace with nine points, as Pierre Bland had six points in the contest.
IPFW outrebounded Bradley (5-5) 35-to-32, led by Forbes' 10 rebounds, as Joe Reed pulled down seven, four on the offensive end. McCray dished out a career-high six assists, while Bland added four for IPFW who had 13 total assists, while Forbes and Bland each had two steals.
The win for IPFW was its first over a team from the Missouri Valley Conference since the team picked up a 54-46 win at Indiana State in early 2006, and improves IPFW to 1-0 all-time against the Braves.
The Mastodons jumped ahead early in the game, leading by two at 7-5 before the Braves ran off a 9-0 run over a four and a half minute span, taking a 14-7 lead with 12:17 to play in the opening half. Trailing by seven, the Mastodons clawed their way back, using a 9-2 run of their own to knot the score at 16 points apiece.
The lead changed hands four times in the next two minutes, when IPFW scored six straight to turn a one-point deficit into a five-point lead. The Braves fought back and tied the score at 26, but could not take their next lead until late into the contest.
Leading by three at halftime, the Mastodons out-scored Bradley 7-1 out of the gate in the second half to push ahead to a nine-point, 40-31 lead - the largest lead for either team in the game.
The hosts would not go quietly, as the Braves kept chipping away at their deficit, and took their first lead with 41 seconds to play on an Auston Barnes tip-in, putting Bradley ahead 61-60.
IPFW responded quickly when Jacobo, who had missed five consecutive shots leading up to that point, drained a three-pointer off of a Bland assist, with Forbes pulling down a rebound on the defensive end with one second left in the game, and calmly draining both free throws to give the junior his first double-double in a Mastodon uniform.
The Mastodons made 22-of-49 shots from the field (44.9 percent), while shooting 5-of-15 from long range, and 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) from the charity stripe.
Bradley was led by Walt Lemon Jr. who scored a game-high 14 points, while Omari Grier scored 13, and Ka'Darryl Bell 11.
The Mastodons will host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Saturday at the Gates Sports Center at 7 p.m.