Updated: Sunday, 06 Jan 2013, 1:19 AM EST
Published : Sunday, 06 Jan 2013, 1:02 AM EST
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The IPFW Mastodons improved to 6-0 as home, as the 'Dons were backed by a career-effort from Michael Kibiloski doubled his previous career-high with 26 points, as the Mastodons led for all but two minutes in a 96-78 win over the Omaha Mavericks in a Saturday afternoon matinee.
IPFW improves to 8-9 on the season with the win, and 1-2 in Summit League play, while Omaha falls to 4-14 and 1-5 in league action.
Kibiloski went 8-of-11 from the field, and 5-of-7 from long range for his 26 points, while Frank Gaines was 14-of-14 from the charity stripe, as he also scored 26 points. Luis Jacobo scored 16 while dishing out a career-high five assists, as Kibiloski also pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Mario Hines scored 12 points and pulled down a dozen rebounds for his second double-double of the season, while also giving out a career-high four assists.
IPFW's 19 assists in the game are a new season-high, as the team's first 11 baskets of the game were assisted with the squad consistently seeking an extra pass to an open player. In the first half overall, the team had assists on 14 of 17 field goals, before dishing out five assists on 11 field goals in the second half.
For the second straight game, the Mastodons hit an even 50 percent of their shots, going 28-of-56 from the field, and had season-highs in both makes and percentage, going 14-of-24 from long range, 58.3%. IPFW's 26 free throw makes were second-most on the team, while the 83.9% is the second-highest this year for the Blue and White.
Omaha opened the game with a long three-point basket on the team's first possession, before Luis Jacobo answered back 21 seconds later to open a 7-0 IPFW run, five of those points coming from Jacobo.
Ahead by seven at 21-14, IPFW ran off eight straight points, including a fast-break three-pointer from Gaines that pushed him over the 1,500-point plateau, just the second player in program history to accomplish the feat. Gaines, a senior now with 1,517 career points, needs 53 points to move into 30th place in Summit League scoring history, passing former NBA great Kevin Duckworth who played for Eastern Illinois from 1982-86.
IPFW's first half lead grew to as many as 21 at 43-22 after a Joe Edwards jumper with 5:03 to play in the half; however, the offense went cold for the remaining five minutes, as the Mavericks closed the gap to nine before Edwards ended the half with a jumper in the lane to send the 'Dons into the locker room at halftime with a 47-36 lead.
In the second half the margin never reached single digits, but also never reached above 18 points, as each team matched the other for the final 20 minutes, with IPFW closing the game on a 9-4 run to push the margin to 18 at the final buzzer.
IPFW out-rebounded Omaha 43-to-25 in the game, a margin of 18, the third-best rebounding margin of the season, and the most since IPFW out-rebounded Judson on November 20. Hines' 12 rebounds were just one of his career-high, while Kibiloski bested his previous best rebounding total by two.
The Mastodons had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio for the third straight game (19 assists, 15 turnovers), and for the fourth time this season. Isaiah McCray had four of the team's seven steals, while Gains and Hines each had a blocked shot.
Justin Simmons scored 24 points for Omaha, while Marcus Tyus scored 20, and CJ Carter a dozen.
The Mastodons return to action on Thursday, January 10 when the squad travels to Fargo, N.D. to face off against the North Dakota State Bison in an 8 p.m. tip-off in the Bison Sports Arena.
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