FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A career-high 29 points from Frank Gaines helped IPFW to an 83-72 victory over Nebraska Omaha in the season opener for both squads, leading the squad to the first victory under new head coach Tony Jasick.
Trey McCorkle scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the double-double, while Jason Smeathers also reached double figures in the scoring column with 10. Joe Edwards added eight and Mario Hines seven, coming just shy of the double-figure pace.
Jonny Marlin dished out nine assists in his first game in an IPFW uniform, while adding five points and a game-high four steals. McCorkle's rebounding total was highest in the game, while Gaines narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Overall, IPFW out-rebounded the Mavericks 39-to-33.
The Mastodons jumped ahead to a 9-0 lead through the first four and a half minutes, and never trailed in the contest. The lead reached a dozen at 14-2 on a Gaines three-point basket with 14:34 to play in the contest.
UNO fought back, climbing to within as few as three with 4:19 to play in the first half, at 32-29; however, a 9-2 run by the Mastodons over the final four minutes pushed the IPFW advantage to ten at 41-31 heading into the locker room at halftime.
The Mavericks scored first to open the second half, cutting the deficit to eight, the last time that the margin would be in single digits until the last minute of the contest.
With IPFW leading by 11 at 57-46, the Mastodons opened a 12-3 run to drive the margin to 20. The lead reached as high as 22 at 76-54 with 5:34 to play in the game before the feisty Mavericks fought back, climbing to within eight at 78-70 with 1:12 to play, but the early deficit was too much in the 83-72 Mastodon win.
UNO's CJ Carter scored 18 points, while Mitch Albers scored 15 and dished out a team-high six assists.
As a team the Mastodons made 29-of-59 shots from the field (49.2 percent), 8-of-18 from long range (44.4 percent), and 17-of-21 from the charity stripe (81.0 percent).
The Mastodons return to action on Tuesday, November 15 when the squad travels to Cincinnati, Ohio to face off against the nationally ranked Musketeers of Xavier University in a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Cintas Center.
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