CLEVELAND – A contest with 15 lead changes and 12 ties swung in the final minutes to Cleveland State as the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team fell to the Horizon League favorite Vikings 90-81 on Thursday (Dec. 30) evening.
Damian Chong Qui scored 18 points, all in the second half, to lead the Mastodons. He was one of five Mastodons in double-digits. Jalon Pipkins and Deonte Billups each had 15 points while Bobby Planutis and Jarred Godfrey each added 11.
The game was a barnburner from the start. It seemed about right for these two teams as the last time they met it went three overtimes in the Horizon League Championship Quarterfinals in March.
The Mastodons led 42-38 at the break and were helped by 20 bench points in the first half. This included 13 points from Billups who drained his first three 3-pointers as the two teams combined for six 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the game.
Four minutes into the second half the Vikings took the lead back. The Mastodons grabbed the lead again with 12:14 on the clock thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers by Chong Qui.
The ‘Dons took their largest lead of the game at 77-70 with 4:41 left. Cleveland State then scored the game’s next 16 points to take control of the contest. The final stretch featured a 3-pointer by Cleveland State’s Torrey Patton from the logo with the shot clock winding down. It turned a four-point game into a seven-point game.
Patton finished with a game-high 21 points for Cleveland State. He helped the Vikings shoot 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the floor. The Mastodons shot 50 percent (27-of-54) and drained 13-of-30 3-pointers.
The Mastodons fall to 5-6 (1-2 Horizon). Cleveland State improves to 7-3 (3-0 Horizon). The two teams will meet again on Wednesday in Cleveland.