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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Mastodons guard Bryson Scott led IPFW with 26 points during their loss to South Dakota on Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum. 

Friday, January 12, 2018 1:00 am

South Dakota 68 IPFW 58

Cold-shooting Mastodons fall

Struggles from 3 again result in loss to Coyotes

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

The IPFW men's basketball team had another below-average shooting night against South Dakota in a 68-58 loss at Memorial Coliseum on Thursday.

It's the second time in a week the team had just three 3-pointers (3 of 20) after a league-opening loss on the road at Oral Roberts on Jan. 4.

“(South Dakota is) a good basketball team and they came ready to play,” Mastodons coach Jon Coffman said. “They out-toughed a tough team, and they did a really good job taking some things away and putting us in crowds on the defensive end. We shot 36 percent (overall, 21 of 59) and 15 (percent) from 3.

“I can't remember the last time we had minus-20 percent from 3 two times in a seven-day period between this game and Oral Roberts. That's not who we are.”

The Mastodons (12-8, 1-2 Summit League) jumped to a 13-4 lead with 12:22 left to play in the first, but a 12-2 run by the Coyotes (15-5, 3-1), with nine straight by Tyler Peterson, gave South Dakota a 16-15 lead with 8:51 left.

After that, IPFW never led by more than three, the last time at 23-20 with 4:39 left in the first before a 13-4 Coyote run closed the half. South Dakota led 33-27 at the break.

“I think we had good energy in the beginning and we just slowed down and didn't play the whole 40 like we should,” IPFW junior guard John Konchar said. “They just out-toughed us at the end. We just need to come out with great pace at the beginning and be tougher throughout the 40 minutes.”

South Dakota built its biggest lead in the second half with a 24-12 run to go up 57-39 with 8:12 left.

The Mastodons had a 9-2 run to get within 59-48 with 5:30 left but couldn't get any closer than 10 the remainder of the game.

Despite the subpar shooting and lack of focus during some parts of the game, there's still hope that the law of averages will work in the Mastodons' favor and there's still plenty of progress to be made.

“The exciting part is I believe in numbers,” Coffman said. “The exciting part is that we have a game on Saturday and numbers play out. We have really good shooters. You look at John Konchar and Kason Harrell that go 1 for 11 between the two of them, that just doesn't happen.

“We did a good enough job defending (holding South Dakota to) 39 percent from the floor, 32 from 3, good enough to have a chance to win down the stretch. We have to do a better job in transition defense. We gave up too much in the first half and offensive rebounds and 13 offensive rebounds. You have to really stack details to be in the game when you shoot that poorly.”

Bryson Scott led the Mastodons with 26 points, Harrell and Xzavier Taylor each added 10 and Konchar had 11 rebounds.

Trey Burch-Manning, Tyler Peterson and Tyler Hagedorn each scored 12 and Matt Mooney added 10 for the Coyotes. Hagedorn also added 11 rebounds.

IPFW plays host to Omaha at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Coliseum.

“We're going to worry about the next one and worry about the big picture later on,” Scott said. “As long as we're taking care of it game by game and doing what we got to do, I think we'll be all right. We let two slip away but I think we'll be all right. It's still early in the Summit League and I think we have a lot of time to turn it around.”