Mastodons Claim Desert Division Title
PHOENIX — In a contest that featured five lead changes and several large scoring swings, the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons became Desert Division Champions of the inaugural Arizona Tip-Off Saturday afternoon with a 93-81 victory over the South Dakota Coyotes at Diamond Desert Arena.
Quinton Morton-Robertston was named the Most Valuable Player after dropping 17 points for the Mastodons. He was joined on the All Tournament Team by teammate Rasheed Bello as well as Brennan Watkins (VMI), Trent McLaughlin (NAU) and Kaleb Stewart (South Dakota).
Purdue Fort Wayne (5-0) trailed by five at the half, but ripped off a 22-7 scoring stretch through the middle of the second stanza, taking a 58-50 lead with 7:10 left in regulation. At the time they reached the eight point lead, the Mastodons were also on a 13-2 advantage. They shot 14-35 (40%) from three point range in the winning effort.
South Dakota (3-2) had a 41-35 advantage at the break and also rattled off a 10-2 scoring stretch that cut the score to 70-67 with 6:03 on the clock, but never had it closer as Purdue Fort Wayne took the championship.
The Coyotes shot 28-54 (52%) from the floor in the setback, while also shooting 9-19 (47%) from long distance. South Dakota committed 16 turnovers to just six for Purdue Fort Wayne.
Max Burchill led South Dakota with 18 points while Bostyn Holt (15), Felix Brostrom (11) and Kaleb Stewart (10) all were in double digits. Lahat Thioune pitched in eight points and 13 rebounds.
Jalen Jackson paced Mastodon scorers with 19 points and was joined in double figures by Morton-Robertson (17), Bello (15), Maximus Nelson (12) and Anthony Roberts (11). Bello added four steals and nine assists while Eric Mulder dropped eight points and eight rebounds.
Arizona-Tip Off action continues Sunday afternoon, with DePaul facing San Francisco in the Third Place Game of the Cactus Division at 2:30 p.m. MT and South Carolina clashes with Grand Canyon at 5:00 p.m. for the tournament championships. Both contests can be seen on CBS Sports Network.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM AND MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Most Valuable Player – Quinton Morton-Robertson, Purdue Fort Wayne
Brennan Watkins, VMI
Trent McLaughin, NAU
Rasheed Bello, Purdue Fort Wayne
Kaleb Stewart, South Dakota