Behind IPFW career-highs from Luis Jacobo and Joe Edwards, and a double-figure effort from Frank Gaines, as the Mastodons used a key 10-0 run to turn a four-point deficit into a six-point lead, holding on for a 68-63 win over the Midshipmen of Navy on Wednesday night in front of 1,411 fans at the Gates Sports Center.
Jacobo went 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-9 from long range for 22 points, while Edwards was 6-of-9 from the field, 2-of-4 from distance, for 15 points. Gaines added 17 points, hitting 8-of-11 free throws, as the trio accounted for 54 of the team's 68 points.
McCray pulled down a team-best six rebounds, with Gaines and Mario Hines each grabbing four, as the Mastodons were out-rebounded 26-to-25; however, had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio for the second straight game with 12 assists and 10 turnovers.
McCray and Pierre Bland each dished out three assists, while Jacobo had three steals, and Hines a pair of blocked shots.
IPFW (7-9) struck first in the game, before Navy erupted for seven straight to lead 7-1 through the first four minutes of the contest. The Mastodons fought back, taking a three-point lead to cap an 8-0 IPFW run that saw Edwards score all eight of IPFW's points on a pair of three's and a driving lay-in to give the Mastodons a 27-25 lead.
Neither team would lead by more than two the rest of the way, as the teams went into the locker room knotted at 32 through the first 20 minutes of the game.
IPFW scored the first five points of the second half, and seemed to have control with a five-point lead with 9:22 to play after a Jacobo three-point basket; however, the Midshipmen (6-9) rattled off nine straight points, capped by a Brandon Venturini three-pointer with 7:10 to play to give the visitors a four-point, 54-50 lead.
A well-timed media timeout followed, where head coach Tony Jasick was able to settle his group, and the 'Dons responded with 10 straight points, five straight from Gaines, a three-pointer by Jacobo, and a breakaway dunk for Edwards to push the hosts ahead 60-54 two and a half minutes later.
The lead grew to as many as eight late in the game, before Navy closed the gap to five with three free throws with 1.2 seconds on the clock.
Navy was led by Venturini and Worth Smith who each scored 17 points, while Smith pulled down six rebounds in the loss.
The Mastodons will host Omaha Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Coliseum.