Mastodons battle but fall at Cleveland State in triple overtime

College Sports

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The fifth meeting between the No. 10 Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons and the No. 1 Cleveland State Vikings in the 2020-21 season was as entertaining as anyone could have hoped, but it was not the result that Mastodon fans would have wanted. Forty minutes of basketball wasn’t enough to determine a winner. Nor was 45. 50? Nope. It took 55 minutes to decide who would move on to the Horizon League semifinal, and after triple-overtime, Cleveland State took the 108-104 win over the Mastodons. This was the first triple-overtime game for Purdue Fort Wayne since 2012 against UTRGV. With under two minutes left in regulation, Johnathan DeJurnett grabbed a defensive board that led to a flagrant foul by Algevon Eichelberger on Jarred Godfrey. He converted the pair to cut the lead to two. Ra Kpedi got another offensive board shortly after, was fouled and made both free throws to tie it. Torrey Patton converted on the other end for Cleveland State, only to see Godfrey tie the game up on a layup with six seconds left and force overtime tied at 67.
Godfrey hit a triple from the top of the key with 4:07 left in the first overtime to go up 70-68. Then he found Kpedi under the basket for an easy dunk and his 10th assist. Demetric Horton made a layup on a fastbreak to extend the lead to five, but CSU’s Patton made a late layup that would send it to the second overtime. Horton shimmied his defender away to get wide open for a triple to open the second overtime. Horton scored again a little over a minute later driving all the way to the basket from the other end. Godfrey hit a triple from the top of the key to extend the lead to five. Godfrey made a 3-pointer with 32 second left that looked like might be the game winner but Eichelberger answered with a triple of his own to send it to a third extra period. Eichelberger’s shot banked off the glass and in. It was a bounce Mastodon fans didn’t appreciate as much as last week with Jalon Pipkins’ three at the end of the first overtime banked in. The Vikings never trailed in the final OT of the night but it was just as close of a period as the rest of the game. Horton cut the Vikings lead to one on a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, and DeJurnett did the same with an offensive board and put-back with 15 left, but Cleveland State made its free throws down the stretch to hold on. Both teams only had one turnover each in the three overtime periods. In 55 minutes of basketball, the ‘Dons had just 13 turnovers. In regulation, it took the two squads a while to find offensive rhythm. Neither team hit the 30-point mark by halftime with the ‘Dons leading 28-27. The second half saw Cleveland State make seven of eight shots over a five-minute stretch that led into the under-12 media timeout, giving the Vikings an eight-point lead. This lead would not hold, however. Kpedi grabbed three of his team-high nine rebounds in a 43-second span that also saw him get a put-back off an offensive board. Later on, Bobby Planutis used active hands to grab a steal that led to a 3-pointer from Pipkins from the top of the key that cut the CSU lead to three. Godfrey got his ninth assist after breaking the press to get across the timeline and find Planutis on the left wing for a trey. Planutis took his turn sharing the sugar when he found Pipkins on the right side for a triple that rattled in to go up 61-60 with 4:10 left. This gave the Mastodons their first lead since 37-36. All told, the Mastodons had five players reach double-figures: Godfrey (23), Pipkins (19), Planutis (17), Horton (15) and Deonte Billups (11). Godfrey finished with a double-double with 12 assists. The ‘Dons shot 50 percent from the floor (38-of-76) and 44.4 percent from 3-point range (16-of-36).
Cleveland State (17-7) moves on to face Milwaukee in the Horizon League Championship semifinal. Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 8-15 to conclude its first season in the Horizon League.
BONUS ‘DONS AND ENDS– The last time the ‘Dons scored 100 points was Jan. 3, 2019 in a 104-88 regulation win over South Dakota State.- Ra Kpedi had a career-high nine rebounds.- The 15 minutes of overtime saw a combined 78 points scored.- Jarred Godfrey had 12 points in the overtime sessions. Demetric Horton totaled 10.- The Mastodons have now played back-to-back overtime games in the Horizon League Championship after never playing in an overtime game in the Summit League Tournament.- Johnathan DeJurnett played 22 minutes in the game after playing 26 minutes all season.- Johnathan DeJurnett finished with four points, four rebounds and three blocks in the game. He entered the game with eight points, six rebounds and one block all season.- It is the first time the ‘Dons had five players reach double-figures since a win over Manchester on Nov. 7, 2019.- It is the first time the ‘Dons have lost a game during the Division I era when scoring 100 points.- The last time the ‘Dons fell when scoring 100 points was a 110-108 loss at home to No. 2 in the nation Southern Indiana on Feb. 3, 2001. – Jarred Godfrey played 54 minutes.- Jarred Godfrey’s 12 assists marked a career high.- Tuesday was the second straight game the ‘Dons earned their largest lead of the game in overtime.- It was the first 3 OT game since a 97-84 win on Nov. 16, 2012 over UTRGV. A sign of how long it has been? Both schools have changed their name since the game. UTRGV was UTPA at the time.

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