FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Frank Gaines scored a game-high 28 points, but it was not enough as the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles clinched the Summit League regular season title in a 75-71 Golden Eagle victory on Senior Day at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.
Gaines made 10-of-15 shots from the field, and 5-of-7 from long range, while also pulling down a game-high eight rebounds, and dishing out a team-best three assists. Trey McCorkle also reached double-digits in the scoring column with 12 points, while Jonny Marlin and Mario Hines each added eight points off of the bench.
The Mastodons came out of the gate quickly, using three baskets from McCorkle, and one each from John Peckinpaugh, Gaines to jump ahead to a quick 10-2 lead five minutes into the game.
ORU answered back with an 8-0 run over the next two minutes, and from that point on, the largest lead gathered by either team would be five when IPFW lead 23-18 with 8:51 to play after a McCorkle basket.
In all there were six ties and two lead changes in the first half, the last tie coming at 32-32 before the 'Dons ended the first half on a 4-1 run to take a 36-33 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Mastodons increased their lead to nine at 51-42 with 14:34 to play in the game; however, the Golden Eagles ran off a 14-5 run to knot the score at 56 apiece, the seventh tie score of the ballgame.
Twice more the scores were tied, the latest at 62 apiece with 4:22 to play, but a quick 4-0 ORU run gave the visitors a lead they would not give up for the remainder of the game.
The Mastodons climbed to within one at 72-71 after Gaines' final three-point basket of the night, and had a chance to tie the score, but Antwaun Boyd's shot attempt with two seconds left was blocked, and a pair of free throws with 0.2 on the clock gave the game its 75-71 final score.
IPFW falls to 10-16 overall and 4-12 in The Summit League, while Oral Roberts wins the outright Summit League regular season title with a 16-1 record, while improving to 24-5 overall.
The Mastodons made 47.1 percent (24-of-51) of their shots, 6-of-15 (40.0 percent) from long range, and 17-of-19 (89.5 percent) from the charity stripe.
Oral Roberts was led by 24 from Warren Niles, while Michael Craion scored 18, and Dominique Morrison 15.
The Mastodons return to action on Saturday, February 18 when the squad travels to Richmond, Ky. to take on the Colonels of Eastern Kentucky University in IPFW's first-ever game in the Sears BracketBusters.
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