FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Ayo Akinwole’s game-winning basket with 3.4 seconds left lifted the Omaha men’s basketball team to a 61-59 road victory over Purdue Fort Wayne Thursday night at Gates Sports Center.
With their second straight win, the Mavericks improve to 14-14 (7-6 Summit League), while the Mastodons drop to 12-17 (5-9) with their third consecutive loss.
Matt Pile, who was limited after running into foul trouble in the first half, collected a game-high 11 rebounds with three blocked shots, an assist, a steal and four points.
Akinwole finished with six points and three steals.
Leaders for Purdue Fort Wayne
Jarred Godfrey led all scorers with 18 points, and Matt Holba had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Omaha shot 38.8% (26-of-67) and just 17.6% (3-of-17) from beyond the arc, while Purdue Fort Wayne finished at 38.9% (21-of-54) from the field and 23.3% (7-of-30) from long range. The Mastodons had a 40-36 advantage on the glass.
Omaha limited itself to 10 turnovers, while the Mastodons committed 19 miscues.
Inside the First Half
Omaha led early, and after a 6-0 run, took an 18-11 advantage, which proved to be its largest of the game. The Mavericks remained in the lead until 7:45, when Fort Wayne surged and went ahead 23-22. The Mastodon run stretched to 10-2 to make it 28-24 with 6:43 to the break.
Back-to-back Robinson buckets finally stopped the run and brought Omaha back within a field goal, and an 8-0 spurt eventually put the Mavericks ahead again, 34-32. The game sat tied at 34-34 at the half, with Robinson credited for a team-leading nine points.
Inside the Second Half
Omaha led 59-52 with 2:30 left in the game, but five points from Godfrey and a steal and a layup by Marcus DeBerry tied it at 59-59 with 24.7 seconds left.
Following a Mastodon timeout, Akinwole drove in, pulled up and hit a four-foot jumper with 3.4 seconds left for the game-winning bucket. Fort Wayne attempted one final three, which missed as Omaha sealed the win.
Noting Tonight’s Game
-Omaha has won six straight in the all-time series with Purdue Fort Wayne and seven of the last eight.
-The last eight games against the Mastodons have been decided by six points or less.
-Tonight’s win snapped a four-game road losing streak for Omaha.
-The game was the final regular-season meeting for the two teams as members of the Summit League.
-Omaha and Purdue Fort Wayne combined for 13 lead changes and seven ties.
Omaha concludes its road trip on Saturday, Feb. 22, visiting Western Illinois. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at Western Hall in Macomb, Ill.