Valparaiso, Ind. - Kikas Gomes had game-highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Dan Oppland added 16 points to lead Valpo (2-3) to a 59-53 victory over Indiana State (2-3). The win snapped Valpo's three-game losing streak.
Gomes made 7-of-14 shots, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Ali Berdiel dished out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds for the Crusaders. David Moss led ISU with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Amani Daanish added 10 points and seven boards for the Sycamores.
Gomes, a senior, took control in the final six minutes, scoring 12 straight points to extend a 44-43 lead to a 56-51 advantage with 2:28 left. After a layup by Marcus Howard pulled the Sycamores within three (56-53) with 1:32 remaining, Valpo's defense forced a turnover and a missed jumper before Berdiel converted a free throw and Oppland added two in the final 20 seconds.
The Crusaders' defense was stifling, particularly in the second half when Indiana State was limited to 31 percent shooting. Valpo led almost all of the second half, leading by seven (38-31) with 13:31 remaining. ISU had its only lead (40-39) of the second half at the 9:33 mark until Berdiel made a short jumper and assisted on a Kenny Harris layup. Russell Trudeau's 3-pointer tied the game at 42-42 with 7:45 left before Jimmie Miles broke the tie with a driving layup. Gomes then went on his 12-point scoring run to push the lead to five on two occasions.
Valpo led for most of the first half and took a 26-25 halftime lead. Oppland netted 11 points before intermission.
The Crusaders finished shooting 41 percent (22-54) overall and made 11 of 15 free throws (74 percent). The Sycamores shot 33 percent (19-57) overall and sank 12 of 20 free throws (60 percent). Valpo drained 4-of-19 3-pointers, while ISU made 3-of-10. The Crusaders committed 20 turnovers and the Sycamores made 16 miscues.
Valpo hosts Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.