The Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team needed one of its leaders to step up today if it was going to break out of its early season doldrums.
Enter Jarred Godfrey.
The 6-foot-5 junior guard was a playmaker at both ends of the Gates Center court, totaling season highs in points (27), rebounds (10) and assists (5), along with a career-best five steals, in an 87-82 victory over Robert Morris.
It was PFW’s first ever victory in the Horizon League and snapped a three-game losing streak. Like PFW (2-3, 1-3), Robert Morris (2-3, 1-1) joined the Horizon League this year and got its first conference victory Saturday by defeating PFW 102-88 at the Gates Center.
“I definitely took it upon myself to make sure that my team, myself included, did whatever we needed to do to get the W, no matter how that looked,” Godfrey said. “I definitely took it personal. Obviously, the first three Horizon League games, three losses in a row on our home floor, giving up 102 points yesterday and last weekend (letting Cleveland State get) hot, I definitely took it upon myself.”
(Video highlights above.)
Godfrey came into the game averaging 16.5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 steals.
“I really challenged Jarred in our game-day practice and one of my assistants said, ‘Hey, it’s game day, don’t come at him too hard.’ I said, ‘Forget that, I’m going at Jarred and it’ll just expound on everybody, OK?’ And it was true,” said PFW coach Jon Coffman, who lit into the Mastodons this morning for what he thought was one of “the worst Division I defensive efforts” he’d ever seen in Saturday’s loss.
In that game, the Colonials outshot the Mastodons 60% to 50%, led by AJ Bramah’s 28 points and 8 rebounds. Today, despite the 6-7 Bramah still looking good with 23 points and 8 rebounds, the Mastodons were the more precise team, shooting 64.2% to the Colonials’ 50%.
Godfrey made 9 of 11 shots, including two steal-and-score plays that helped PFW build a 24-point lead.
“He’s been phenomenal all summer, through the pandemic, taking leadership roles in everything he’s doing,” Coffman said. “And you know, it’s awesome when I’ve got a bunch of newcomers who don’t know me that well. We’re masked up and all our (team bonding activities), where they’d usually get to know me and where I can challenge a guy, those (are limited this year).”
But Godfrey certainly had plenty of help.
Bobby Planutis had 13 points, including 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. He hit two 3s late in the game to give PFW a 76-67 lead, shortly after a 19-2 run put Robert Morris within five points with 7:35 left.
PFW’s Dylan Carl totaled 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting, including a key stretch of three straight baskets in the paint for an early 30-20 lead, and teammate Demetric Horton totaled 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Ra Kpedi added nine points for the Mastodons.