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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette IPFW guard Bryson Scott is fouled by Oral Roberts guard Sam Kearns while driving to the basket during the first half Thursday. Scott led the Mastodons with 23 points and six assists.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette IPFW guard John Konchar looks for an opening in the first half against Oral Roberts on Thursday at Memorial Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette The Voice runner-up Addison Agen looks up at the crowd after singing the National Anthem during a match up between IPFW and Oral Roberts on Thursday at Memorial Coliseum.  

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Oral Roberts guard Sam Kearns, right, tries to block the shot of IPFW guard Kason Harrell as he goes under the basket in the first half Thursday at Memorial Coliseum.  

Friday, February 02, 2018 12:30 am

IPFW 85 Oral Roberts 75

Coach's kudos go to IPFW's efficiency

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

The IPFW men's basketball team kicked off the second half of Summit League play with an 85-75 win over Oral Roberts at Memorial Coliseum on Thursday.

The Golden Eagles handed the Mastodons a 76-60 league-opening loss in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Jan. 4.

“Down there, they just out-toughed us on both ends of the floor,” IPFW guard Kason Harrell said. “They smashed us on the offensive glass down there. They really have a good pace and we were taking some tough shots.

“Tonight, we were just focused on rebounding. We did a good job keeping their guys off the glass. Offensively, we were able to get some good shots and guys were able to make plays.”

The first time the teams met, the Mastodons struggled shooting against Oral  Roberts' zone defense.

“(Oral Roberts) mixed up man and zone, we got them out of their zone, and we just transitioned perfectly into our man and really cut them up,” Mastodons coach Jon Coffman said. “I'm extremely excited about how the guys attacked the process today. I thought offensively we played within ourselves. We were swinging the ball for 40 minutes.

“Typically even when you've had leads, other teams go through some runs and usually, for us, it's a non-paint-touch shot, or a tough shot in crowds or an immature play that assists them in their run. Today, offensively, our process was phenomenal.”

IPFW made 12 of 24 3-pointers and 29 of 58 from the field as Bryson Scott led the Mastodons with 23 points and six assists. John Konchar had 21 points, seven assists and five steals. And Kason Harrell scored 20 on 7-of-11 shooting, 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.

After struggling in the first half of the last few games, the Mastodons (15-10, 4-4 Summit League) jumped to a 16-9 lead in the first 6:34 of the game.

The Golden Eagles came back to take the lead at 20-18, their biggest margin of the game.

Three-pointers from Matt Weir, Konchar and Harrell gave IPFW a 35-27 lead with 5:49 left in the half. The Mastodons led 37-31 at halftime.

The Mastodons led 75-64 with 4:36 left after an 11-3 run provided the final boost to secure the win.

“I thought we were getting into the middle and quarterbacking it too much in the first half where in the second half, we didn't wait on getting to the middle,” Coffman said. “When we got to the middle, we were in attack mode, played the two-on-one, and it was really good.

“I think we only had two turnovers in the second half and took care of the ball and did a great job in terms of attacking them in the post with the double-team and then turning it over.”

Albert Owens scored 20 points for the Golden Eagles (9-16, 3-5), Sam Kearns scored 15 and Emmanuel Nzekwesi 10.

Note: Fort Wayne native Addison Agen, NBC's “The Voice” runner-up, sang the national anthem in front of an announced crowd of 1,481.

areichel@jg.net