Warriors fall to wildcats to end nonconference slate

NCAA Basketball Local

FORT WAYNE – The Indiana Tech men’s basketball team fell to No. 2-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University, 86-66, Monday evening inside the Schaefer Center in the final nonconference game of the regular season for the Warriors.

Josh Kline had a team-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds while Cory McKinney had a career-high 17 points, six rebounds and five assists. Mitch Morken collected 10 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals while Max Huber added seven points, four rebounds, two steals a block and an assist.

The Wildcats got out to a quick 4-0 lead thanks to a pair of baskets by Kyle Mangas, who finished the game with 35 points and 10 rebounds. The Warriors came right back with a 10-3 run thought to go up 10-7 at the 15:19 mark. The two sides exchanged leads over the next few minutes and found themselves knotted up at 17-all with 11:31 to play in the first half.

A triple from IWU’s Tanner Rubio at the 10:04 mark sparked an 18-5 run for the visitors, with Rubio hitting four straight three pointers during the run, including one from the volleyball six-meter line on Kline Court, to put the Wildcats up 35-22 with 6:19 on the clock. A free throw from Kline snapped a 2:37 scoring drought for the Warriors at the 5:55 mark and Tech showed some fight down the final five minutes of the half to cut the deficit to 42-34 after 20 minutes of action.

IWU came out of the locker room firing to begin the second half as they used a 7-0 run to force the Warriors to call a timeout with 17:10 to go in the game and trailing 49-34. A fast break bucket and and-one play from Jeremy Davison provided a quick 6-2 spurt for the Orange and Black, but the Wildcats maintained the double-digit advantage and pushed the lead up to 65-45 with 10:12 to play. After seeing the deficit grow to 23 points, the hosts responded with a 13-1 run over a two and a half minute stretch to make it a 73-62 game with 4:39 on the clock and force IWU call a timeout. The threat would be short-lived though, as the Wildcats came back with back-to-back triples from Rubio and Mangas to regain control of the game and held Tech scoreless over the final 3:13 of the game to snap the Warriors five-game winning streak with the 86-66 win.

Tech (8-8) returns to action on Saturday, January 4 as they get back into conference action against the University of Northwestern Ohio. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. from the Schaefer Center.

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