Heartbreaker: Cleveland State men’s basketball falls, 102-98, in triple overtime to Purdue-Fort Wayne

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Deshon Parker buried a three-pointer from the left corner with 2.9 seconds left in double overtime to force an extra third session, but the Cleveland State men’s basketball team passed out, giving up a 102 decision -98 Monday to welcome Purdue-Fort Wayne to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The Vikings, who entered the contest atop the Horizon League standings, lost for the second time in their last three games and fell to 17-7 overall (13-4, Horizon), but remained a game ahead of Oakland in league standings. The Mastodons improved to 16-10 (11-6, Horizon) and snapped a four-game losing streak against the Vikings.

Purdue-Fort Wayne, ranked 12th in the nation in free throw percentage, closed out the game connecting on nine of 11 from the boards in third overtime. Cleveland State, which ranks bottom of the Horizon League from the line, missed four of eight free throws in overtime, including a costly 0-for-2 by senior Tre Gomillion with a second on the clock and the score tied at the end of the first overtime session.

Nathaniel Jack split a pair of free throws late in regulation, allowing Purdue-Fort guard Wayne Damian Chong Qui to fire a desperate 3-point shot at the buzzer that tied the score at 74-74 and forced the first additional session.

Cleveland State coach Dennis Gates chose to leave his top two scorers – D’Moi Hodge and Torrey Patton – on the bench for the final minutes of regulation time and all three overtime periods. Hodge, who ranks sixth in the Horizon League with 16.4 ppg, struggled with four fouls midway through the second half and did not return. He only played 22 minutes while Patton recorded 25.

The game featured many unusual moments, including Purdue-Fort Wayne being called off for an administrative technical foul late in regulation and a lane violation with 9.4 seconds into first overtime that prevented the Mastodons forward from playing. Milestone Pipkins attempting a free kick. .

Seven Cleveland State players hit double-digit scores, led by Gomillion, Patton and Broc Finstuen with 14 apiece. Hodge added 13 and Jack 12 from the bench while Parker and Yahel Hill contributed 10 each. Deante Johnson grabbed a record 11 rebounds.

Pipkins had a game-high 27 for the Mastodons and Jarred Godfrey added 20. Chong Qui added 11 points and six assists.

After Pipkins tied the score at 71-71 with six seconds left, Mastodons coach Jon Coffman called time out. The problem for Coffman was that he had already used his last time out when Purdue Fort-Wayne was struggling to get the ball in bounds. But Jack split free throws before connecting on a pair moments later to set the stage for Chong Qui’s dramatic shot.

The Vikings fell to 8-3 all-time against Purdue Fort-Wayne, which erased a 14-point second-half deficit on an 18-4 streak. Pipkins sank a 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining to give PFW its first lead since the opening moments of the game.

Cleveland State trailed up to seven, but back-to-back Finstuen layups on a pair of Anderson Mirambeaux assists put CSU ahead 65-64 with 2:44 remaining. After a jumper from Pipkins gave PFW the lead, Finstuen followed up a miss from Mirambeaux with a return dunk to retake the lead, 67-66.

Godfrey’s 3-pointer put PFW ahead by a pair before a Gomillion triple on an assist from Finstuen gave the Vikings a 70-69 advantage with 1:13 to go.

Mirambeaux, who averaged just over four minutes per game before the contest, finished with four assists and a pair of rebounds in 13 minutes.

Following: The Vikings hit the road again with games scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday in Milwaukee and 3 p.m. Sunday in Green Bay.

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