Dons snap 29-game losing streak with win over Robert Morris

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team’s 14th-annual Pink Out contest on Friday, February 19 ended with a win for the Mastodons as they beat the Robert Morris Colonials 71-67.

The game served as the women’s basketball representation for the 2021 Pink Week, which is the platform the Purdue Fort Wayne athletic programs are using to raise funds to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation.

Shayla Sellers had a career-high 21 points, including six points in the fourth quarter to hold on down the stretch. Sellers also had seven rebounds.

Hannah Hess opened up the scoring for Purdue Fort Wayne in her first game back after injury, as she knocked in a triple after faking out a defender at the top of the arc. Riley Ott made a tough layup shortly after this to even the score at five. Sierra Bell went on a run of her own midway through the first quarter, knocking in a deep two-pointer, then converted an old-fashioned 3-point play. She hit another deep two to preface Ott’s 3-pointer that gave the Mastodons a 17-11 edge. 

Sellers scored first in the second quarter with a quick-release mid-range jumper from the left side. A few minutes later, Rylie Parker found Aubrey Stupp in the paint, who pump faked to lose her defender for the easy lay-in. Sellers followed it up with a pair of consecutive triples after this to help push the Mastodons’ lead to 11. Hess scored on a wide-open triple shortly before the Mastodons forced a shot clock violation, then pushed the pace to find Sellers open for another 3-pointer. The sophomore guard had 13 points before the halftime break.

The ‘Dons shot 54.5 percent in the second quarter.

Both defenses tightened up the screws in the third quarter as the teams combined for 2-of-14 to start. Despite RMU making seven shots to Purdue Fort Wayne’s three for the quarter, the Mastodons held the lead throughout thanks to six made free throws. Ott also buried a triple with 1:09 left in the quarter. 

 Robert Morris closed the gap to two points at 62-60 with 2:26 left, but Stupp made a layup 22 seconds later to stretch it back to four. The Colonials would not get any closer for the rest of the way. Sellers blocked a shot with 47 seconds left, grabbed the miss, the made four straight free throws to seal the game. Hess put the icing on the cake with a pair of made freebies with seven seconds left.

Ott and Bell both joined Sellers in double-figures with 18 and 14, respectively.

Purdue Fort Wayne improves to 1-20, 1-18 Horizon League while Robert Morris improves to 3-12, 3-12 Horizon. These two teams will meet again tomorrow at noon in the Gates Sports Center for the last game of the regular season. Purdue Fort Wayne will recognize seniors Bell and Hess with their Senior Day.

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