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Mastodons Trample Zips in First Round of Post-season Tournament


Photo credit: Aaron Suozzi, IPFW

Written by: Communicator StaffMarch 22, 2014

On Wednesday, March 19, the IPFW men’s basketball team faced off against the Akron Zips in the first round of the Campus Insider Tournament.

After winning the tip-off, the Mastodons scored the first basket in just 14 seconds on a pair of free throws. The Zips came back quickly with a basket of their own, followed by another for IPFW. Akron took the offensive and the lead at 17:50 in the first half, bringing the score to 4-7.

IPFW struck back with an impressive steal and basket, and closely followed it with another to regain the lead. Akron matched them blow for blow, and the lead changed hands several times. It wasn’t until 14:02 left in the first half that the Zips began to take a decisive lead. They scored several times in rapid succession, until the score stood 13-22.

The Dons only let them keep that lead a few minutes, before initiating their counter-attack. Surging offensively, they capitalized on misses by the Zips to tie things up and take a lead of 28 to 26 with 7:57 left in the half.

Both teams played very aggressively, almost to the point of recklessness. IPFW in particular gave a daring display of difficult hand-offs and passes to even the score. Likewise, both sides consistently fumbled the ball or made remarkable recoveries and high-speed baskets. Neither team seemed to be more than slightly slowed by the other’s defensive lines.

The two teams passed the lead back and forth several times in the remainder of the first half. Neither was able to gain a lead of more than a couple points right up until the half ended with a score of 47 to 46, advantage IPFW.

The second half started off slower than the first. The Mastodons scored three points on the first basket of the half. By the timeout at 14:46, the score was tied at only 56. The slower pace continued and once again the teams were neck-and-neck.

Then, with exactly 7 minutes left on the clock, the Mastodons took the lead and they never let go of it again. Starting with a three-point basket that put them up 75 to72, they began a devastating offensive that gained them a 10-point lead with 2:21 to go.

Despite their dire straits, the Zips weren’t out of the fight just yet. With the daunting score of 89 to 79, they finished with a wild offensive that kept the crowd at the edge of their seats. In the last minute of play, they scored 11 points almost disregarding the IPFW defense. Despite those efforts, IPFW picked up a few more baskets and carried the day. The final score was an impressive 97 to 90, meaning that the Mastodons would continue to the tournament’s second round in high spirits.

“Any time you can win a post-season game, that’s a good thing,” said head coach Tony Jasick. “Our guys played really well.”

The Mastodon’s next tournament game will be Saturday, March 22 in Lexington, Virginia.

Story by: Sean Godfroy