Three conference games into their Horizon League tenure, the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team is still looking for its first victory.
Another newcomer, Robert Morris, won its Horizon League debut tonight, 102-88 over the Mastodons at the Gates Center.
The teams meet again here 5 p.m. Sunday, when the Mastodons will have to sharpen up their defense.
Robert Morris (2-2, 1-0) came into this game averaging 70.3 points and 43.9% shooting from the field, then proceeded to exploit PFW with 60% shooting.
PFW (1-3, 0-3), which dropped a pair of games to Cleveland State last weekend, hasn’t won since it’s Nov. 25 opener, when it scrapped to a 67-63 overtime victory over Southeastern Louisiana, before seven games were canceled because of COVID-19 safety protocols.
Robert Morris, which had been in the Northeast Conference the last 39 years, was led by AJ Bramah’s 28 points and eight rebounds.
For PFW, Jarred Godfrey had 22 points. Deonte Billups added 14 and Dylan Carl had 12.
The Mastodons made 50% of their shots.
(Video highlights are above.)
Things started promisingly for the Mastodons, who led 12-3 after Billups followed a successful 3-pointer with a layup. Demetric Horton helped PFW add to it with a sneaky pass from the corner to Ra Kpedi for a finger-roll, which was followed by a Horton 3-pointer from the opposite corner to make it 17-10 with 13:25 remaining in the first half, at which point PFW had made 7 of 10 shots.
But the Colonials hit their next four shots to begin cutting into that lead and tied it at 27 on a Bramah baseline jumper with 7:43 remaining in the half. Cameron Wilbon gave the Colonials a 30-27 lead with a 3-pointer 41 seconds later.
At halftime, Robert Morris had a 43-37 lead, paced by Kam Farris’ 11 points (he was 4 for 4, 3 for 3 from 3-point range) and Bramah’s 10. PFW’s Godfrey had nine points and Carl added eight.
Both teams were precise to open the second half – Robert Morris made 7 of 9 shots and PFW 7 of 12 – and that included a key Bramah fall-away jumper for a 57-48 Colonials lead with 14:50 remaining in the game.
Robert Morris’ Dante Treacy’s 3-pointer from the corner with 11:31 left made it 66-55.
The Colonials went to 16 of 23 from the field in the second half when Jon Williams’ 3-pointer put them up 84-70 with 5:39 remaining.