The win moved IUP to 4-2 on the season and increased its home winning streak to 25 in a row dating back to the 2008-09 campaign. Central State lost for the first time in its past five games and dropped to 7-4.
Darryl Webb had his 41st career double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds and moved into fifth place on the all-time IUP scoring list with 1,519. He is already the school’s all-time leader in rebounds and pushed his total in that category to 954.
Ashton Smith added 16 points and Kevin Stewart finished with 15 and the guard duo combined to go 18 of 22 from the free throw line.
Greg Rice led all scorers with 28 points for the Marauders followed by Gerald Campbell with 21 and Wesley Jones with 10. DeAndre Rie dished out 10 assists.
Sanders hit 5 of 10 from 3-point distance in recording his second 20-point game of the season and coming within three points of his career high. The junior guard has 179 3-pointers in his career and is within two of fourth-place Eddie Peterson and eight of Aaron Faulkner, who stands third.
The game included a whopping 54 personal fouls which resulted in a combined 72 trips to the charity stripe, and IUP went 35 of 47 from the line to offset its 33.9 percent accuracy from the field. The Crimson Hawks also helped their cause by holding a 41-31 advantage on the boards and forcing 22 turnovers.
IUP held Central State scoreless for nearly nine minutes in the first half while building a 22-4 lead and took a seemingly comfortable 45-29 lead into intermission. The cushion remained in double figures until a jumper by Campbell at the 11:22 mark of the second half cut the deficit to 59-50.
The Crimson Hawks still led 63-52 with 7:49 to go after two free throws by Webb, but the Marauders answered with a 6-0 run and pulled within five on a pair from the line by Rie at the 5:41 mark. Sanders hit a clutch 3-pointer to make it 68-60, and IUP led by at least six until Jones hit a 3 with just three seconds left to produce the final score.
The second day of the IRMC Holiday Classic takes place Sunday, with Edinboro facing Central State at 5:30 and IUP hosting Urbana immediately following. Edinboro defeated Urbana 69-62 in the tournament’s opening game Saturday evening.