A beauty contest this wasn't, on the night the Ivy League came to Fort Wayne. There was no tiara, no warbling old Bert Parks, no obligatory leaky tear ducts.
There was only this Tuesday night for IPFW: The clanking of wayward basketballs colliding with unyielding rims, and a smack upside the head that happened with just about five minutes to play against the Big Green of Dartmouth.
That's when Jabari Trotter jarred a three-pointer to give Dartmouth, which had refused to go away all night, its first and only lead. And it immediately set in motion a series of events that would wind up with IPFW pulling out an unpretty but satisfying 56-51 win in front of 1,232 in Memorial Coliseum.
"Kind of stayed the course again," IPFW coach Tony Jasick summarized.
"Those games are always fun," added senior forward John Peckinpaugh, one of the heroes down the stretch. "I think when you have to make big plays down the way to win, I don't know how that could not be fun."
If that's the case, the fun part did not happen early, when the Mastodons (6-3) jetted to an 8-0 lead after two minutes and a 27-22 lead at halftime. The culprit for Dartmouth (2-7) was 7-of-24 shooting in the first half plus nine turnovers, which kept the Big Green adrift of an IPFW team which made just 10 of 26 shots itself in the first half.
"I kept on hoping we'd pull away, but it just didn't happen," said center Trey McCorkle, who finished 11 points and eight rebounds.
For more on this game, read Wednesday's Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.