What appeared to be a relatively easy task initially didn't turn out to be so on Thursday, as IPFW held off a rallying Bowling Green squad 65-60 on the road in memn's basketball action.
The victory was notable for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was the Mastodons' 11th in 16 games, which ties the program mark for best start during its NCAA Division I era. Secondly, it was the first time in school history that IPFW had defeated a Mid-American Conference opponent on the road.
Redshirt junior center Steve Forbes scored a team-high 15 points in the victory, as he hit 6-of-10 shots, while Luis Jacobo scored 13 in his first game in the starting lineup this season.
Mo Evans added 11 points off the bench and Joe Edwards scored eight.
Joe Reed pulled down a team-best eight rebounds, with Jacobo adding six for IPFW.
Five players – Forbes, Isaiah McCray, Evans, Reed, and Edwards each dished out two assists, while three Dons – Forbes, Pierre Bland, and Evans – had four steals each.
The Falcons (6-7) scored the first two points in the contest, but IPFW answered with nine consecutive points and never trailed again.
After Bowling Green cut the deficit to three with 11:15 to play, IPFW closed the first half on a 23-13 run.
The Mastodon lead grew to as many as 17 with 2:04 to play, as IPFW took a 34-21 lead into the locker room at halftime. The 21 first-half points allowed for IPFW was a season-best for a first half.
With the Mastodons leading 41-25 after a three-point play by Bland, the hosts ran off an 18-3 run over the next seven minutes, trimming the IPFW advantage to a single point with 10:43 to play in the game.
The margin remained in single digits the rest of the way; however, the Mastodons never relinquished their advantage in the five-point victory.
IPFW hit 20-of-52 shots from the field (38.5 percent), 7-of-21 (33.3 percent) from long range, and half of its 36 free throws.
Bowling Green went 22-of-55 from the floor (40.0 percent), 2-of-15 (13.3 percent) on its 3-point shots, and 14-of-19 (73.7 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Mastodons will host Kalamazoo College Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Gates Sports Center.