CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament - 1st Round (Lou Henson Classic)
Fort Wayne 88, Ball State 80
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (gomastodons.com) – Senior Brent Calhoun scored a career-high 27 points, 20 in the second half, as the Fort Wayne Mastodons defeated Ball State 88-80 on Wednesday (March 15) night at the Gates Center in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
The contest was the inaugural Lou Henson Classic to honor the legendary New Mexico State and Illinois head coach. The 'Dons took home a trophy for the victory and Calhoun was named the game's MVP. He helped Fort Wayne erase a 41-34 halftime deficit after the 'Dons trailed by as many as 11 points in the opening half.
Fort Wayne took their first lead of the second half at the 9:12 mark on a 3-pointer by Bryson Scott. It was part of a larger 11-0 run that saw the 'Dons go up by seven points. Ball State cut the deficit to two points with 2:32 remaining, but would never take the lead again after Scott's trey.
Calhoun earned his 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting. He should have known he was in for a big night when early in the contest he made his first career 3-pointer.
Six Mastodons finished in double-digits. Mo Evans had 15 points with 12 assists. Bryson Scott totaled 13 points and nine rebounds. Kason Harrell, John Konchar and Xzavier Taylor each had 11 points. Konchar played all 40 minutes.
Fort Wayne fended off a Ball State team that made 14 3-pointers.
Ball State ends their season at 21-13. The 'Dons improve to 20-12 for their second straight 20-win season. It is the first time as an NCAA Division I member and only the second time in program history the 'Dons have won 20 games in back-to-back seasons.
In the game the 'Dons moved into first place all-time in program history in single-season scoring with 2,807 points. They passed the 2013-14 squad which scored 2,774 points.
Fort Wayne advances in the CIT with the win. Following the conclusion of the first round on Thursday, the top three teams in the KenPom rankings will receive byes to the quarterfinals. The remaining teams will play second round games March 17-20.
National Invitation Tournament - 1st Round
Iowa 87, South Dakota 75
IOWA CITY, Iowa (goyotes.com) - South Dakota's first-ever NIT appearance may have been short lived, but it wasn't without highlights. From point guard Trey Dickerson's welcome-back 3-pointer on the Coyotes' opening possession to Tyler Flack's tomahawk dunk and one final curtain call in the game's final minutes, South Dakota battled to the end of an 87-75 loss to Iowa Wednesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
South Dakota (22-12) got a game-high 23 points from Matt Mooney and 16 from Flack, but couldn't overcome an efficient Iowa offense that shot 56 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers. Hawkeye freshman Jordan Bohannon was on point, scoring 19 and handing out a season-best 11 assists. Iowa also got 20 points from all-Big Ten guard Peter Jok and 18 more from big man Tyler Cook, who made all eight shots he took.
Mooney tied his season high with five 3-pointers and topped 20 points for the 16th time this season. The Summit League Transfer of the Year, Mooney finished with 634 points in his first season at USD, the fourth-highest single-season tally in program history.
Flack, the Coyotes' lone senior who started a game against Iowa as a freshman back in 2012, was 6 of 11 from the floor and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line with five rebounds and two steals in his final collegiate contest. He also blocked two shots giving him 144 in 101 career games for the third-most swats in program history.
South Dakota led 10-5 nearly five minutes in behind Dickerson's 3, his alley-oop to Flack for a slam, a 3 by Mooney and a score in the paint by Trey Burch-Manning. Iowa scored the next seven points and the teams battled back and forth through a first half with six ties and six lead changes. Dickerson led USD with 10 points at the break. Cook had 12 for Iowa and Isaiah Moss, who entered the game averaging six points a night, hit four first-half 3's to help the Hawkeyes take a 42-38 lead into halftime.
Iowa (19-14) used a match-up zone defense for much of the second half and Mooney beat it with a pass from the top of the circle to Flack on the low block for a two-handed jam that closed Iowa's lead to 53-50 with 13 minutes to go. It was one of Mooney's season-best five assists.
A 13-2 Hawkeye run spanning four minutes shortly after Flack's slam proved to be the difference. Bohannon had seven points during the run including a 3 and added an assist to Ahmad Wagner for two more. By the time Triston Simpson countered with a 3 for South Dakota, Iowa had its largest lead, 68-54, with seven minutes remaining.
Dickerson was injured on a drive to the hoop with eight minutes to go and did not return. He logged 21 minutes and had three boards and two assists in his first trip to Iowa City since competing for Iowa during the 2014-15 season.
Mooney and Flack combined to score South Dakota's final 17 points. Mooney hit back-to-back 3's to make it 74-66 Iowa near the five-minute mark. Simpson got a steal on the ensuing possession and pitched ahead to Carlton Hurst who drove, but was called for a charge on a bang-bang play near the rim that took away an and-one opportunity. That was as close as USD got the rest of the way.
Jok scored seven points in the game's final 2:30 to help seal the win. He finished 7 of 14 from the field and was limited to 27 minutes due to early foul trouble. Jok, Moss and Bohannon combined for all 10 of Iowa's triples.
Both teams finished with 12 offensive rebounds, but second-chance points favored Iowa 18-7. The Coyotes converted 18 of 25 free throws compared to 7 of 15 for Iowa, but 42 percent shooting from the field by South Dakota wasn't high enough to pull off the upset.
South Dakota had won seven in a row before losing on a last-second shot in the semifinals of the Summit League Tournament and dropping this one Wednesday. It was the team's first back-to-back losses since the first game of December. The Coyotes, picked to finish seventh in the Summit, won 22 games this season, the most since 2010 and the sixth-most in program history.