FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Purdue Fort Wayne Athletics) – A 49-point second half couldn’t erase an early deficit on Sunday (December 20) evening at the Gates Sports Center as the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons fell to Cleveland State 89-80 in Horizon League men’s basketball play.
The game changed in the first half when Cleveland State went on a 22-4 run from the 8:54 mark to the 4:09 mark. D’Moi Hodge scored 20 of the points with four treys. It turned a six-point contest into a 49-25 lead for the Vikings.
While the ‘Dons would fall behind by as many as 34 in the second half, Purdue Fort Wayne continued to chip away at the deficit and eventually made it a five-point game. First up was a 16-2 run that cut it to 71-53 with 10 minutes remaining. The Mastodons forced five turnovers in the push and Bobby Planutis had five points. While Demetric Horton nailed a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to make the score 85-80, Cleveland State added four free throws to ice the contest.
Hodge finished with 46 points, making 10-of-15 from beyond the arc. He made eight of his first nine attempts in the game and had 31 in the first half when the Vikings did most of their damage.
Jarred Godfrey scored 23 points for the ‘Dons with five 3-pointers while turning the ball over just once.
Jalon Pipkins finished with 14 points while Planutis and Horton each had 12 points. Planutis made four 3-pointers.
Cleveland State moves to 2-3 (2-0 Horizon League). Purdue Fort Wayne falls to 1-2 (0-2 Horizon League.
The ‘Dons return to action on Saturday (Dec. 26). It will be a 7 p.m. tip at the Gates Sports Center against Robert Morris. The Colonials, like the Mastodons, are in their first season in the Horizon League.