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Mastodons tune up

If this week is a basketball smorgasbord for Dane Fife and IPFW, consider Monday night the hors d'oeuvre.

The Mastodons did what they needed to do -- cleanse the palate and shake the holiday cobwebs -- in a 101-55 dismantling of Purdue-North Central, an NAIA school. All 11 'Dons scored, five were in double figures and IPFW took a 30-point halftime lead (53-23) on 70 percent shooting to give Fife ample opportunity to clear his bench in the second half.

He also saw a couple of things he can build on with IUPUI coming to town Thursday for a Summit League showdown.

"I think it was important that we learn to guard the ball screen better," Fife said. "Antwone (Snead) came in and did a great job. I thought Deilvez (Yearby) was OK, I thought John (Peckinpaugh) was OK."

And then there was Nick Daniels -- who tends to draw his coach's ire more than occasionally, but tonight turned in a near triple-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

"Nick's a great kid, he works hard every day and he does everything you ask," Fife said. "That's a kid that you really care about and you tend to be hardest on the kids you care about. So if I look like I'm really hard on Nick out there I am.

"But when Nick's good we're usually pretty good because he's making shots and shots turn into a lot of energy on defense."

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