FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Eastern Kentucky University beat Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), 90-68, on Sunday in a battle of mid-major top 25 teams.
The Colonels (9-4) entered the game ranked 22nd in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. The Mastodons (10-5) were one spot behind at 23rd.
Eastern Kentucky trailed by as many as nine twice early in the game but used a 21-4 first half run to take control of the game. The Colonels took an 11-point lead, 46-35, into the locker room at the break and then out-scored the Mastodons 8-3 to start the second half to go in front by 16. Eastern took its largest lead, 26 points, on a three-pointer by Marcus Lewis with 4:46 left in the game.
Lewis scored a game-best 17 points for Eastern. Eric Stutz had 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds. Corey Walden hit three second half three-pointers and finished with 11 points.
The Colonels shot 59 percent from the field and 52 percent (11-for-21) from three-point range. EKU out-rebounded the Mastodons 32-26 and committed seven fewer turnovers.
IPFW jumped out to an early 10-1 lead and still led by nine, 22-13, after a pair of free throws by Steve Forbes with 11:31 left in the first half. However, the Colonels erased the deficit by scoring 11 straight to key the 21-4 run. Orlando Williams hit two 3-pointers and Stutz and Jeff Johnson each scored a pair of baskets in the paint during the run. Williams’ second trey capped it and put EKU in front 34-26 with 5:05 on the clock.
Walden’s basket at the buzzer sent the visitors to the locker room in front 46-35. Eastern shot 61 percent in the first half.
Stutz scored four of EKU’s first eight points of the second half. A lay-up by Tarius Johnson capped the spurt and gave the Colonels a 54-38 lead with 15:50 left to play. IPFW got as close as 13 twice before a Walden three-pointer and a basket from Deverin Muff pushed the margin to 20-plus for the first time, 71-50, with 8:39 remaining. Back-to-back three-pointers from Lewis gave Eastern Kentucky its largest lead, 82-56, with less than five minutes on the clock.
Mo Evans had a team-best 13 points for IPFW. Joe Edwards added 12 points. The Mastodons shot 44 percent for the game.