Mastodons hold off Leathernecks for 75-69 win

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Jarred Godfrey had 20 points to lift the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team to a 75-69 Summit League victory over Western Illinois on Wednesday (Feb. 5) evening.

The Mastodon defense forced 21 turnovers, a season-high against a Division I opponent. 14 of the turnovers came in the first half as the Mastodons opened a 37-24 lead after the first 20 minutes. Purdue Fort Wayne closed the first half on an 8-0 run including a Godfrey layup at the buzzer.

As would be expected in a Summit League game, Western Illinois made a run in the second half. They used a 17-3 run to get within three points at 58-55 with 6:50 left in the game. WIU was 5-of-6 from the floor in the stretch. While the ‘Dons would go up double-digits again, it came down to a key possession late to clinch the game. Up three points at 69-66 with under a minute left, the ‘Dons put the ball in Godfrey’s hands. The sophomore responded. He drove to the basket and finished to put the ‘Dons up two possessions.

Purdue Fort Wayne missed their first six 3-point attempts but connected on seven of their next eight from beyond the arc. At the free throw line, the ‘Dons made a season-high 21 free throws on 28 attempts. 

Deonte Billups totaled 16 points thanks to a 7-of-7 night at the free throw line. Marcus DeBerry totaled 14 points while Matt Holba had 12. Holba made 4-of-5 from three.

James Claar scored 20 points for WIU.

The Mastodons move to 11-14 (4-6 Summit League). WIU falls to 5-16 (2-9 Summit League).

Purdue Fort Wayne is at Denver on Saturday. It will be the first meeting between Denver and Purdue Fort Wayne this season.

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