FORT WAYNE, Ind. – IPFW made 10 first-half three-pointers and the Bowling Green men's basketball team lost its final Bracketbusters game ever to the Mastodons 88-75 Saturday evening in Memorial Coliseum.
IPFW made 10 of its first 12 three-point attempts and Frank Gaines became the Mastodons all-time leading scorer with 26 points as Bowling Green fell behind by 22 before rallying to get within single-digits late. Chauncey Orr scored a team high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting for the Falcons, adding five assists and four rebounds.
Bowling Green had held its last three opponents to just seven three-pointers combined on 20 percent long range shooting but IPFW found room to launch from long range Saturday. The Mastodons first two field goals were three-pointers, the latter of which sparked a 14-0 run. IPFW made four threes during that spurt and continued to fire away through the remainder of the half.
Gaines' three with 5:04 left put IPFW ahead 38-16 and Michael Kibiloski added another 58 seconds later for a 41-19 advantage. Jehvon Clarke and Chauncey Orr each scored late to help the Falcons cut the deficit to 17 at the half, 43-26.
IPFW led by 22 once more in the second half as Gaines hit a jumper with 15:19 to play to make it 54-32. From there, though, the Falcons chipped away at the lead.
Orr scored on a three-point play with 12:29 to go, forced a turnover on IPFW's next possession and found Clarke for a lay-up to make it 57-41. The Mastodons, though, weathered the storm until the final seven minutes.
Bowling Green trailed 72-53 before Richaun Holmes made a jumper and followed with a dunk. After IPFW came up empty on its next trip, Craig Sealey was fouled and made two free-throws to bring BGSU to within 13. The Mastodons missed another shot and Jordon Crawford made a lay-up with 5:13 left to make the score 72-61.
Two possessions later, Sealey had a steal and Orr scored on a fastbreak lay-up to cut the deficit to single-digits at 72-63. IPFW, though, made four free-throws on its next two trips down the floor and Bowling Green ran out of time to get closer.
While Orr scored 17, two other Falcons also scored in double-figures. Crawford had 14 points and Holmes came off the bench for 12. Spencer Parker added a career-high nine points just one game after scoring a career-best seven against New Orleans. In fact, for the second consecutive game, 11 different players scored for the Falcons.
Bowling Green held a 35-23 rebounding edge and had 12 offensive boards, nine more than IPFW. However, the Falcons committed 17 turnovers and allowed IPFW to shoot 60 percent from the field and 67 percent (12-of-18) from three-point range. BGSU shot 59 percent in the second half and 49 percent for the game.
IPFW won its fourth game in a row to improve to 14-16 on the season. Bowling Green fell to 11-16 and will return to Mid-American Conference play for the final four contests of the regular season. The Falcons will host a critical game against Miami Wednesday at 7 p.m.