FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Playing in its homecoming game, IPFW got 23 points from Luis Jacobo and shot 56.3 percent as a team to defeat Dartmouth on Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum, 80-64. The Mastodons improved to 7-4 on the season, while the Big Green dropped their second straight to fall back to .500 at 3-3.
Sophomore Connor Boehm led Dartmouth with 15 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes of action, while freshman Eli Harrison knocked down four three-pointers in his first extended action to tally 12. The Big Green’s leading scorer, sophomore point guard Alex Mitola, was held to a single three-pointer on the night, but did hand out four assists and nab a pair of steals with just one turnover.
Jacobo knocked down 7-of-13 field goals, including 3-of-7 three-pointers, plus converted 6-of-8 at the line to account for his 23 points. Four other Mastodons scored in double figures with Pierre Bland, Isaiah McCray and Mo Evans each scoring 11 and Joe Edwards adding 10.
The two teams traded buckets to open the game, but when Michael Kibiloski sank two free throws for IPFW, the Mastodons would maintain the lead the rest of the night. Junior John Golden kept the score close early, slamming home two points off a back-door feed from junior center Gabas Maldunas. But Jacobo followed up a McCray free throw with a long-range bucket for a 13-7 IPFW lead.
Boehm scored the next six points for the Big Green to keep them within four at 17-13, but Kibiloski answered with a trey of his own. Dartmouth was down six, 22-16, with seven minutes left in the half when the Mastodons went on a 10-0 run, the first eight points being scored by Edwards and the last two by Bland off an Edwards dish on the break.
Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier summoned freshman Eli Harrison from the bench looking for a spark, and he got one as Harrison immediately drained back-to-back three-pointers. But Jacobo popped another trifecta, then hit a 15-footer to snuff out the spark, and the Mastodons went into halftime sporting a 40-24 lead.
Both Jacobo and Edwards had 10 at the break for IPFW, while Boehm had 10 as well for Dartmouth. The host Mastodons closed the opening stanza strong by hitting six of their last eight shots to finish the half shooting 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from the floor and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from downtown. Their defense proved to be just as strong, holding Dartmouth to 10-of-29 field goals (.345).
In the second half, Golden provided a couple of early baskets, and Boehm had a pair of tip-ins, the second becoming a three-point play. Yet the Big Green could not chip away at the lead as IPFW continued to pour in the points inside and out.
Mitola drained his three-pointer with little more than 12 minutes to go, bringing Dartmouth within 15 at 52-37, only to have the Mastodons string together another 10-0 run. Half of those points were posted by Evans, and suddenly the IPFW lead was 25.
Another rookie came off the bench in Wesley Dickinson, and he ended the run with a putback. Two minutes later he sank a jumper in the lane as well. Late in the game, Harrison drained consecutive three-pointers again as Dartmouth hit five of its last seven field goals, but it was too little too late for the Big Green.
The Mastodons enjoyed a big advantage at the free throw line, even though they converted just 19-of-31 (.613). Dartmouth, meanwhile, managed to sink just 8-of-15 (.533). The IPFW advantage on the boards was much slimmer at 33-32, though the Green did grab 12 offensive rebounds.
Dartmouth finishes its three-game Midwestern swing when it plays at Illinois (7-1) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. (CST). IPFW hits the road to take on Bradley on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. (CST) as well.