The Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team didn’t return a single player who had been named to the All-Summit League’s First or Second Team.
They didn’t even return an honorable mention.
They hadn’t been in such a situation since 2015-16.
So perhaps a slow start was to be expected. And a slow start they’re on, thanks to a 84-80 loss to Miami (Ohio) tonight at Memorial Coliseum.
It should be noted, however, that in 2015-16, the Mastodons won the regular-season Summit League championship.
The Mastodons’ lone victory this season came against Division III Manchester on Thursday.
At 1-3, it’s PFW’s worst four-game start since 2009-10, when it dropped three of its first four games including losses to Wisconsin, Gonzaga and Washington State.
Miami (1-1) had lost its season opener 88-81 to Wright State.
Tonight, PFW was paced by Brian Patrick’s 23 points and six rebounds. Matt Holba had 18 points and five rebounds.
(Video highlights are above.)
The RedHawks’ Nike Sibande 19 points and Dalonte Brown’s 17.
PFW plays 7 p.m. Saturday at the Coliseum against Stetson, the school for which Mastodons head coach Jon Coffman was an assistant from 2001 to 2009.
The Mastodons took an early 10-7 lead when Holba followed a 3-pointer with a drive to the basket, on which he was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws with 14:00 left in the first half.
It didn’t last long.
Miami’s Isaiah Coleman Land’s 3-pointer with 10:35 left put his team up 16-12.
A nifty Jarred Godfrey pass that set up Dylan Carl for a basket along the baseline with 8:07 remaining kicked off a 10 run for the Mastodons to take a 28-22 lead.
Holba’s scoop as he was fouled and fell to the court led to a 3-point play and a 31-27 lead with 4:34 left in the half. The RedHawks’ Javin Etzler’s 3-pointer with 1:45 left tied it at 32, but Patrick answered with a 3 for a 35-32 PFW halftime lead.
PFW shot 50% from the field in the first half. Miami shot 40%.
The RedHawks began the second half strong and took a 42-37 lead when Brown finished off a fastbreak with a layup. After Mekhi Lairy drove unabated from half court for a basket, the lead was 57-50 with 13:18 remaining.
The Mastodons struggled to cut into the RedHawks’ lead until a Patrick 3-pointer trimmed it to 80-76 with 21 seconds left, but the rally ended there.
PFW shot 51% for the game. Miami shot 48.4%.
Godfrey had 17 points for PFW.