The Mastodons fell to Youngstown State in a a pair of close games over the weekend. Friday’s 84-70 loss was due to an all around poor defensive effort, while Saturday’s 72-70 loss was heartbreaking after having to foul the last two minutes and an inability to hit a go ahead shot in the closing minutes.
Jarred Godfrey and Jalon Pipkins had a stellar weekend, but they were unable to find consistent help, and the Mastodons struggled to get stops when they truly needed to.
They have two more games before the Horizon League Tournament kicks off, and the Mastodons need to find some way to gain some momentum. Anything can happen in a conference tournament, and the key is to be playing well at the right time.
Momentum will be hard to come by this weekend, with Purdue Fort Wayne facing off against one of the top dogs in the conference, Cleveland State.
These games will be at home for PFW, where they play much better, with a 4-5 record, as opposed to on the road, where they have a 2-8 record.
If the Mastodons can get hot at the right time and steal a game over Cleveland State, that can go a long way in gaining momentum for the conference tournament.
This will be the first time they compete in the Horizon League Tournament, so they are somewhat of a wildcard. If Godfrey and Pipkins can keep up the scoring output, and Deonte Billups and Bobby Planutis can hit shots consistently from deep, then the Mastodons have a chance to pull of an upset.
As of now, PFW will likely face off against Wright State in the tournament, which will be a tall task, but this time of year anything is possible. Hence the name “March Madness”. No it won’t quite be March, but it is still the time of year when madness can occur.
The Mastodons were consistently one of the best shooting teams in the country, and when a team is hitting three-pointers at a high clip, then they can knock off a top seed.
Back to this weekend…Cleveland State is a very stout defensive team, and they are trying to grab the 1 seed for the conference tournament, so it is unlikely they will overlook the Mastodons. If PFW wants to pull off an upset in the tournament, they need to show it this weekend, and steal one of the games over Cleveland State.
PFW is on an eight-game losing streak, and going into the tournament on a ten-game losing streak is less than ideal.
The Mastodons need to have the mentality of they have nothing to lose. Cleveland State is the team with something to lose, so they need to throw haymakers and try and knock off the Vikings and get some positive momentum for the conference tournament, where they will need the same mentality.