By Brett Rump
The Fort Wayne Mastodons missed a great opportunity to move into a first-place tie with North Dakota State, falling at South Dakota in the final minute, 66-63.
Fort Wayne was down 60-50 with about five minutes left when two three-pointers and a transition basket off a steal led a run that put the Mastodons in front with about two minutes left.
A turnover gave South Dakota a chance, down two, and after rebounding a missed three, the Coyotes got a driving basket by Matt Mooney (who finished with a career-high 30) and the free-throw to complete a three-point play to make it 64-63 South Dakota.
The Dons’ Xzavier Taylor was fouled and missed both free throws before two Mooney free-throws provided the final margin.
A long three-point try by Fort Wayne’s Mo Evans rimmed out with 3 seconds left.
Bryson Scott scored 21 and Evans had 19, the only ‘Dons in double-figures. John Konchar had nine points and nine rebounds, just short of getting his 10th double-double of the year.
North Dakota State suffered their first Summit League loss (4-1) at Denver, 79-57.
Next up, the Mastodons start a two-game trip at North Dakota State Thursday night.
You can follow the Mastodons men’s basketball team on Twitter @FortWayneMBB.