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The Journal Gazette

Friday, December 21, 2018 12:50 am

Non-conference schedule brought learning opportunities for PFW

ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette

Summit League play starts on Dec. 28 as Purdue Fort Wayne travels to North Dakota. With an 8-7 record during the non-conference slate, the Mastodons have seen a little bit of everything. Winning close games, losing close games, unexpectedly winning and dropping ones they probably shouldn't have, coach Jon Coffman likes the experiences his team has gotten over the first part of the season.

"Really excited with how this group has evolved," Coffman said. "I'm excited as much about some of the success we've had in non-conference play, as well as the adversity. I think there's so much value to getting punched in the gut."

PFW lost two close ones to Samford and Miami of Ohio, but also came out on top in tight games against Cleveland State and Akron. In the Summit League where South Dakota State is the clear favorite with a 10-4 record, everyone else hovers around .500, with PFW looking like the next best team.

The Mastodons also look like they're trending in the right direction. Coffman has been tweaking the starting lineup and seems to have found a good fit with Dee Montgomery starting, and Marcus DeBerry and Jared Godfrey coming off the bench.

The 3-point shooting and field goal percentage in general has been up the last two games, averaging 52 percent from the field.

"I've felt the last couple of years we've been one perimeter player short ... we really don't have that this year," Coffman said. "I like having a group where there's no disappointments in our roster."

ewyman@jg.net