Kpedi leads Dons over Austin Peay

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Ra Kpedi recorded a career-high 17 points to help the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons to a 65-60 non-league victory over Austin Peay on Tuesday (Nov. 16) evening at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Kpedi scored 13 of his points in the second half. Five of his six baskets in the game were dunks. Jarred Godfrey had assists on four of the dunks, but it was Deonte Billups with the assist on the biggest basket of the game. With 1:15 left, and the game tied at 58, Billups drove to the basket. Kpedi’s defender, Corbin Merritt, rotated over to attempt to take a charge. Billups pitched the ball to his right and walked right around Merritt. By the time Merritt went back, he could only foul Kpedi as Kpedi hammered down a dunk to earn a three-point play.
Kpedi had four rebounds, two blocks and a steal to go with his team-best 17 points. He was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. Godfrey totaled 15 points with six assists and three steals. Jalon Pipkins also hit double-digits with 10 points.  
A defensive first half saw neither team reach 30 points. However, the Mastodons earned some breathing room with a Pipkins step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer. It gave him seven points in the opening 20 minutes and put Purdue Fort Wayne up 29-25. All told for the first half, the ‘Dons limited the Governors to zero points in the paint.
The ‘Dons took their largest lead of the game at 36-27 just a few minutes into the second half thanks to a Billups 3-pointer. Austin Peay grabbed the lead back at 41-40 on a trey by Tariq Silver with 11:52 left in the game.
It was a 49-all game when the ‘Dons scored six straight points. A Godfrey steal on one end and a slam by Bobby Planutis on the other was the exclamation point that forced an Austin Peay timeout.
Austin Peay had answers, hitting two quick 3-pointers to make it a 57-55 game with just under four minutes left. The Governors tied the game at 58 on a 3-pointer by Drew Calderon with 1:47 remaining. It set up Kpedi’s big basket and then a Godfrey steal to put the game away.
The ‘Dons limited the Governors to 38.3 percent shooting while forcing 17 turnovers. The Mastodons shot 41.2 percent in the game. Purdue Fort Wayne connected on 17-of-21 from the free-throw line. Austin Peay made 2-of-5.
The ‘Dons are now 5-1 all-time against the Governors.
Austin Peay falls to 1-2. The ‘Dons are now 2-0 and travel to Minnesota on Friday (Nov. 19).

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