PHOENIX, Ariz. – Purdue Fort Wayne allowed just two field goals over the game’s final six minutes to take down the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 77-67 in the first game of the Arizona Tip-off on Friday (Nov. 17).
The win advances the ‘Dons to the championship game of the Arizona Tip-off Desert Division on Saturday (Nov. 18) against South Dakota. It will be a 4:30 p.m. ET tip against the former Summit League rival at Desert Diamond Arena. The only way to follow the game tomorrow is via the online audio stream at this link with Brett Rump on the call.
The Mastodons benefited from a career-high 27 points from Quinton Morton-Robertson who went 8-of-11 from the floor and 5-of-8 from three. He scored 14 points in the second half including 11 in the final 4:21.
Northern Arizona was down 10 at 57-47 when they went on a 15-0 run to take a 62-57 lead with 6:19 left. The Lumberjacks would only record two more field goals the rest of the way. An Anthony Roberts layup tied the game at 2:42. Morton-Robertson added a fast-break layup on the next possession to put the ‘Dons up for good at 67-65 with 2:09 left. All told it was a 20-5 run to close the game. The ‘Dons forced four turnovers in the stretch and made 9-of-10 free throws to clinch it.
Roberts added his second double-double of the young season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Rasheed Bello had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. The vast majority of his line came in the second half as he earned two fouls in six minutes in the first.
The ‘Dons forced 22 Lumberjack turnovers and turned them into 27 points. Purdue Fort Wayne led for better than 23 minutes of the game in the contest which featured nine ties and eight lead changes.
The teams shot nearly identical. The Lumberjacks finished 27-of-59. The ‘Dons were 27-of-58.
Purdue Fort Wayne was cheered on by nearly 20 members of The Herd, the school’s official student section, that made the trip to Arizona.
The ‘Dons continue their best start as a Division I program by improving to 4-0. Northern Arizona is now 1-3.