Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Drew Wins 300th Game as Crusader Head Coach

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valparaiso nailed six of its first seven shots from the field in the second half, extending a five-point halftime lead into double figures on its way to an 80-56 victory over Western Illinois Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center. With the victory, head coach Homer Drew registered his 300th win at the helm of the Crusader program.

Drew now holds a 300-238 (.558) record in his 18 seasons as head coach at Valparaiso, including a 264-135 (.662) mark in the last 13 years. Drew's 300 wins at Valpo are 101 more than any other Mid-Con coach in the 25-year history of the conference. In his 30th season as a head coach, Drew is 569-360 (.612) overall, with his 569 wins ranking 10th among all active Division I head coaches.

The Crusaders held just a 31-26 advantage at the intermission, due in large part to 13 first-half turnovers. But Valpo forced Western Illinois into 11 turnovers of its own in the opening stanza, and the Crusaders utilized 12-of-15 shooting from the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes to take the lead.

Valpo came out of the locker room on fire in the second half, however. Senior Moussa Mbaye (Dakar, Senegal/Life Center [N.J.] Academy) hit two shots to open the half on his way to a career-high 10 points. Shawn Huff (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) nailed a triple just two minutes into the half to extend the Crusader lead to double digits for the first time.

Huff added another 3-pointer and Mbaye another layup before Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) drove from the top of the key for a layup of his own with 14:53 to play to make the Valpo lead 45-31. The lead would remain in double figures for the next few minutes before the Crusaders put together one more run to slam the door for good.

Troy Okeson's jumper cut the lead back down to 52-37 with 10:22 to play before Valpo started its spurt. Samuel Haanpaa (Kerava, Finland/Cornerstone [Texas] Christian) answered with his second 3-pointer of the game on Valpo's next possession to extend the lead to 18.

Two possessions later, Jake Diebler (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) came up with a steal, leading to a picture-perfect two-on-one fast break between Jarryd Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) and Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North). Loyd took the outlet past halfcourt from Diebler and dished to McPherson, who gave it right back to Loyd without taking a dribble. Loyd immediately touch-passed it back to McPherson for the easy layup, extending the Valpo lead to 20.

After a Western Illinois basket, Haanpaa got to the free throw line on each of the Crusaders' next two possessions, hitting all four freebies to make the lead 22. McPherson added another fast-break layup on Valpo's next possession, and by the time Haanpaa nailed his third triple of the ballgame with 6:38 to play, the Crusaders had blown the game open, leading 68-40.

Haanpaa came off the bench for the first time in over a month and had a stellar game, leading the Crusaders with 18 points and also grabbing six rebounds. Huff hit three 3-pointers on his way to 14 points, while McPherson added 13 to go along with Mbaye's 10 points. Igbavboa chipped in nine points and 10 rebounds, his ninth double-figure effort on the boards this year. Loyd dished out a season-high six assists, while Diebler distributed four assists and came up with three steals.

Xavier Price led the Leathernecks with 13 points, but was their only player to reach double figures. Morris Smith came off the bench to grab five rebounds and record five assists for Western Illinois (6-21, 2-10 Mid-Con).

Valparaiso shot 69.2% (18-of-26) in the second half on its way to a 56.3% (27-of-48) performance for the game, the second-best shooting percentage this season by the Crusaders. Valpo recorded 21 assists on its 27 baskets and out-rebounded Western Illinois by a 33-25 margin. Both teams committed 18 turnovers, but the Crusaders held a significant 22-8 edge in points off of turnovers.

Valparaiso (14-13, 7-5 Mid-Con) plays its final non-conference game of the regular season Saturday afternoon, traveling to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on Western Michigan in a game derived from the O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters pool. Opening tip is scheduled for 3 p.m. Central time, and all the action can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WAKE, 1500 AM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
M Track DePauw Invitational Greencastle, Ind.
Apr 5 9th/11 (28.33)
W Track DePauw Invitational Greencastle, Ind.
Apr 5 8th/10 (29)
W Track Stanford Invitational Stanford, Calif.
Apr 5 No Team Score
M Track Stanford Invitational Stanford, Calif.
Apr 5 No Team Score
Baseball Wright State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 5 Valpo 3
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 5 Valpo 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Green Bay, Wis.
Apr 5 Green Bay 6
Baseball Wright State 0 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 5 Valpo 2
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 5 Valpo 9
W Tennis Valpo 5 Green Bay, Wis.
Apr 5 Green Bay 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo