CENTRAL MICHIGAN 94, FORT WAYNE 89
CIT FIRST ROUND (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (gomastodons.com) – Bryson Scott scored 28 points and Xzavier Taylor had a career-high 20 points but Fort Wayne saw the 2017-18 season come to an end on Monday (March 12) afternoon with a 94-89 loss to Central Michigan. The CollengeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) opening round game was aired live on CBS Sports Network.
The contest was named the Hugh Durham Classic in honor of the former Jacksonville, Florida State and Georgia head coach.
Monday's game featured 10 lead changes and nine ties. The 'Dons were behind by as many as 10 points in the first half but cut it to 45-44 at the break thanks to back-by-back 3-pointers by Scott to close the half.
Central Michigan led 81-75 with 6:06 left in the game when the 'Dons asked for time. Fort Wayne followed with an 8-0 run capped by a reverse layup by Taylor which brought the lunchtime crowd to it's feet.
The game would be decided in the final minute. Kevin McKay made a pair of free throws to put the Chippewas up 87-86 with 1:51 left in the game. Kason Harrell responded with a 3-pointer to give the 'Dons the lead back at 89-87. It would be Fort Wayne's final points of the season. Luke Meyer nailed a 3-pointer less than 20 seconds later to put Central Michigan up for good. Meyer would earn Game MVP for his play.
Fort Wayne's final chance to take the lead back came with the ball in Scott's hands in the final five seconds. Scott drew contact on a drive to the basket but was called for an offensive foul in the process.
Scott finished the game 11-of-15 from the floor with 28 points. Scott finished the 2017-18 season with 746 points. His total ranks seventh all-time in the Summit League for a single season. Scott's 202 made free throws on the season is tied for eighth in league history.
Taylor totaled a career-high 20 points on Monday, making 8-of-10 attempts from the floor. Fellow senior Jordon King added 10 points. Jax Levtich totaled 11 points.
Fort Wayne made 11 3-pointers while Central Michigan connected on 17 treys.
Central Michigan improves to 20-14. The Mastodons conclude the season 18-15. Fort Wayne is the only Division I team in Indiana to qualify for the postseason each of the last five seasons.