Balanced Mastodons top visiting Eastern Illinois

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Four Mastodons finished in double-digits in Purdue Fort Wayne’s 74-69 men’s basketball victory over Eastern Illinois on Wednesday (Dec. 4) evening at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The Mastodons trailed by as many as eight points in the first half as the Panthers forced 12 turnovers in the period and attempted 10 more field goals as a result. However when the two clubs went to the break the ‘Dons were down only one point at 33-32. Cameron Benford had six points in the first half, including four points in the final minute to help get it to the one-point deficit.

A 7-0 run, which included five points by Marcus DeBerry, early in the second put the ‘Dons up for good at 46-40. The start of the second half was the Jarred Godfrey show. The sophomore guard had only three points at half but scored 14 points in the first eight minutes of the second half.

EIU didn’t go away and cut it to a two-point game at 67-65 with 3:33 left. A Godfrey corner 3-pointer, thanks to a Matt Holba pass from the paint, put the score at 70-65 with 2:20 remaining. However, a Josiah Wallace layup put EIU down just one at 70-69 with 45 seconds left. On the next possession, Brian Patrick’s 3-pointer was off the mark but DeBerry chased the down the rebound. He was fouled with 12 seconds left and calmly made a pair of free throw to put the lead at 72-69. EIU’s Marvin Johnson raced down the court to try to get a quick two points for the Panthers but ultimately in his haste dribbled the ball out of bounds. EIU called timeout and pressured the ball when play resumed. It resulted in Holba getting behind the defense for an easy game clinching dunk.

The Mastodons shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55) in the contest. Eastern Illinois finished at 44.6 percent (29-of-65).

Godfrey, the reigning Summit League Player of the Week, finished with a game-high 20 points. DeBerry added 12 points. Patrick had 11 and Holba contributed 10.

Purdue Fort Wayne has won four straight games. The Mastodons move to 6-5. They are tied for the most wins the Summit League. Eastern Illinois falls to 4-4. The ‘Dons head to future conference-foe UIC on Saturday.

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