Purdue Fort Wayne wins another nail-biter and punches their ticket to the CIT Championship

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With less than 20 seconds to go, Purdue Fort Wayne has the basketball with a chance to squeeze out a late victory. After blowing a second-half lead, just one basket can salvage the day for the Mastodons. Facing a hostile away crowd, Eric Mulder receives the pass under the basket. He takes a second to gather the ball and then goes up for what could be the last shot of his sophomore season. Time feels frozen as Mulder’s shot hits the glass. But wait, did we not just see this exact scenario last Wednesday against Bowling Green?

Just like in the climactic finish against the Falcons, Mulder’s lead-taking layup found its way into the basket. And just like against Bowling Green, the Mastodons were able to come up with one more stop, securing the victory and a date with Norfolk State in the CIT Championship.

Mr. Game Winner himself Eric Mulder didn’t just get it done at the basket last night though. Mulder grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive glass in a dominant performance in the paint. This is Mulder’s 3rd double-double of the season.

Rasheed Bello took over tonight, providing the Mastodons with a game-high 21 points on 9/13 shooting from the field. Bello and Mulder would each register 3 steals for a Mastodons defense that is now 10th in the nation in steals per game.

The rest of the Mastodon starting lineup was able to find success scoring as well, as each of Jalen Jackson, Anthony Roberts, and Quinton Morton-Robertson found themselves in double figures. With his three-pointer at the 11 minute mark, Morton-Robertson added 100 made threes to his spectacular senior season.

Unfortunately the Mastodons once again catch an unlucky break and will be on the road for the third time in as many games in the CIT. But I have a feeling that Coach Jon Coffman wouldn’t have it any other way for his group of guys.

Coffman praised the team on Twitter for being “#RoadTough” pre-game and they proved him right once again with the late victory. The ‘Dons will have to continue being that same road tough team, as they will be playing over 600 miles from home in Norfolk, Virginia for the championship.

You can catch the Mastodons fight for the CIT Championship on Wednesday, March 27, at 7pm EST on ESPN+.

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