Behind a 30-point, 10-rebound showing from John Konchar, Purdue Fort Wayne picked up a crucial non-conference win over in-state rival IUPUI, 87-77 Tuesday night at Memorial Coliseum.
After falling behind 13-4 in the first four minutes, the Mastodons pulled it together, going on a 41-26 run to end the half. Konchar nailed a corner 3-pointer, followed by back-to-back Marcus DeBerry 3-pointers to spur the run. PFW (7-7) was hot from beyond the arc, shooting 50 percent in the first half alone.
DeBerry turned a broken play into two points as he hit a jumper form the elbow to beat the halftime buzzer to give the Mastodons a 45-39 lead.
It wasn't just the offense, the defense, which has struggled this season, showed up in a big way. Dylan Carl, who was outmatched physically against IUPUI big man Ahmed Ismali, used his quickness to notch two of the team's five first half blocks.
Kason Harrell had just five points at the half, but came alive in the second and finished with 20. His handles were on full display in the second half as he used a nifty spin move to nail a short jumper to make it 53-45. He later took it to the rim and finished with contact to make it 65-55 with 10:18 to play.
PFW was in the driver's seat for the entire second half, which featured a slew of hustle plays and downright dirty ones, as IUPUI's Grant Weatherford tackled Harrell after he reeled in an offensive board late in the second half.
IUPUI (8-4) amped up their pressure on defense and PFW handled it with ease, whisking swift passes down the court resulting in easy buckets.
Camron Justice went 10 of 18 from the field to finish with 25 points for the Jagaurs.