Men’s basketball loses in BracketBuster contest

The University of Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons proved to be too much for the Falcons this Saturday, defeating BG 88-75 in the final edition of the ESPN BracketBuster series.

For the first five minutes of the game, it appeared that BG would have an upper hand, but IPFW took control of the game by making 10 three-point baskets in the first half.

IPFW’s senior Frank Gaines scored 26 points against the Falcons, which marked the fourth-most points scored by a single opposing player this season.

Central Michigan’s Kyle Randall still holds the season high of 31 points against the Falcons. South Florida’s Victor Rudd scored 29 points in their multi-overtime game in December and IUPUI’s Mitchell Patton scored 27 during the NIT pre-season tournament in November.

The Mastodons also had three other players score 10 or more points in the game.

IPFW kept the Falcons in a double-digit deficit for most of the first half and had multiple high-scoring runs throughout the half. The Mastodons went on a 14-point run that stretched for three minutes during the latter part of the first half.

After three-straight baskets from behind the arc, Gaines made another three-point shot with 5:04 left in the half to stretch the Mastodon’s run to 9-0. However, senior Luke Kraus put a stop to it with a three of his own with 4:47 left in the half, which registered the Falcons first three-point basket of the game.

The Falcons ended the half on a 7-2 run, but were still down by 17 points to the Mastodons.

BG’s lethargic offensive attack during the first half set up an uphill battle on both sides of the ball in the second half.

IPFW continued its offensive domination, as Gaines led the charge against the Falcons by scoring 14 points in the second half alone.

The Falcons mounted a comeback in the final five minutes of the game and got within nine points of IPFW, but the Mastodons kept the Falcons out of reach and won the game by 13 points.

“We didn’t defend and we didn’t start the game out offensively,” coach Louis Orr said. “We did not play inside out. We settled for jump shots … and we just didn’t attack the paint. That was a big part of the game plan.”

The Falcons finish their BracketBusters career with a record of 6-5 against their opponents.

BG will return to Mid-American Conference games on Wednesday when it will host the Miami RedHawks at 7 p.m. at the Stroh Center.