ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (incnow.tv) - Playing 30 minutes from his hometown, IPFW sophomore Isaiah McCray scored a team-high 10 points, as the Mastodons fell in a mid-week non-conference match-up with the Navy Midshipmen by a 54-49 score.
McCray was 3-for-6 from the field, and 3-for-3 from long range, while adding three rebounds, an assist, and a blocked shot. McCray had a made three-pointer taken from the books at the end of both the first and second half, as each time the ball was in his hand as the clock struck zero.
Mario Hines scored eight points, while Michael Kibiloski scored seven, with Luis Jacobo, Joe Edwards, and Herbert Graham each adding six. Edwards and Graham each had two assists, while Kibiloski and Edwardspulled down a game-high-tying six rebounds apiece, as IPFW out-rebounded Navy 36-to-26.
IPFW struggled at the charity stripe in the game, hitting just 40 percent (6-of-15) of their free tries, while making 17-of-46 from the field (37.0%), and 9-of-22 (40.9) from long range.
For the first time this season, IPFW (4-4) never led in the game, as Navy (4-4) jumped out to a 14-2 lead through the first six and a half minutes of the contest. Trailing by a dozen, IPFW scored nine straight points on back-to-back three pointers from Graham and Jacobo, before a three from McCray cut the gap to just three halfway through the opening period.
After Navy pushed the lead to five with 9:37 to play, both teams hit an offensive lull, as neither team could find the bottom of the net for the next three minutes, before Harden drained a jumper to cut the gap to three at 16-13 with 6:31 to play in the stanza. IPFW closed to as few as two at 18-16 on a Graham three; however, the 'Dons could not score in the final 4:37, as Navy ran off six straight points to take a 24-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
With 14:05 to play, a Bland jumper in the lane closed the gap to a single point, and the Mastodons trailed by one two other times, the last at 10:41 after a Jacobo made free throw, before Navy scored nine straight, as the Mid's Kendall Knorr scored 13 points in a five-minute span to push the host lead to as many as 13 with 4:30 to play in the contest.
Facing its largest deficit of the game, IPFW fought back by scoring seven straight points, capped by an Edwards three-pointer, and a McCray three with 44 seconds on the clock cut the gap to three.That would be as close as the team would come in the team's five-point loss.
Knorr scored a game-high 15 points to lead Navy, while Brandon Venturini scored 11, and Worth Smith 10.
The Mastodons return to action on Saturday, December 1, when the squad hosts Miami (Ohio) in the school's homecoming game, with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Memorial Coliseum.
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