It took a couple of bruised days, a long bus ride home and a fresh challenge to turn the lights back on again for the IPFW men's basketball team after last week's heartbreak in Sioux Falls, where they fell three points short of the NCAA's biggest Dance.
It took slightly less than that Wednesday for the Mastodons to turn the lights out on the Akron Zips in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
In the first Division I postseason game in school history, Michael Kibiloski buried two 3-pointers to turn a game that trembled in the balance most of the night, and the Mastodons used a 16-7 run to put Akron in their wake and ignite a 97-91 first-round victory.
The lead swayed back and forth until Kibiloski's third 3 of the game rose and fell from the corner with 6:59 to play, breaking a 72-72 tie and giving the Mastodons a 75-72 lead they would never relinquish. Akron answered with two free throws, and then Kibiloski stuck yet another 3 and Joe Edwards splashed a pair of free throws to run the lead to 80-74 with 5:28 remaining.
It was the first time either team had led by more than five points all night, and it was the last time Akron ever got closer than five.