SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It was Matt Holba’s night on Saturday (March 7), as the senior drained six 3-pointers to push No. 7 Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball past No. 2 South Dakota State 77-74 in the opening round of the 2020 Summit League Championship. Holba finished the night with a season-high 21 points.
The Mastodons move on to face the winner of No. 3 South Dakota and No. 6 North Dakota. Those two clubs play on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. The ‘Dons will play again on Monday at 9:30 p.m. ET.
The game was tied at 65 with 5:03 left to play before Jarred Godfrey and DeMierre Black made clutch plays down the stretch. Godfrey hit a triple and a free throw for four of his 12 points. Deonte Billups found a cutting Black for a contested layup before Black sank a pair from the charity stripe with 22 seconds left on the clock. Marcus DeBerry put the icing on the cake with a layup with seven seconds left as Godfrey found him with a full court pass off an inbounds play.
Holba hit four of his season high six 3-pointers in the second half, including a pair of them that moved the Mastodons from down 58-57 to up 63-60. The senior also finished with seven rebounds, which is the fourth-most he’s had this year.
Defense and 3-pointers spurred Purdue Fort Wayne to a 40-33 halftime lead, as they held South Dakota State to 37 percent shooting and poured in eight treys. Five more 3-pointers in the second half put the ‘Dons at 13, which is the third-most by the team this season.
Four Mastodons eclipsed into double-figures: Holba (21), Godfrey (12), Billups (12) and Brian Patrick (11). Godfrey did a little bit of everything, as he finished with seven assists and six boards to go with his dozen points. Dylan Carl tied a season-high with five assists.
The Mastodons move to 14-18, while South Dakota State falls to 22-10.
The last No. 7 seed to beat a No. 2 seed happened in 2009, when South Dakota State beat Oral Roberts, 72-69 in overtime in 2009.