Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Tight Game to Oakland

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Samuel Haanpaa's (Kerava, Finland/Cornerstone [Texas] Christian) fifth 3-pointer of the ballgame gave Valpo a 72-71 lead with just over a minute to play, but Oakland's Erik Kangas hit a 3-pointer on the Golden Grizzlies' ensuing possession, and the Crusaders could not regain the lead, falling 81-76 Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) was called for an offensive foul while setting a screen on the next Valpo possession. Vova Severovas hit two free throws for the Golden Grizzlies after being fouled with 32 seconds to play, but McPherson answered with a quick layup to cut the deficit back down to 76-74.

Oakland's Rick Billings hit two more free throws with 27 seconds left, and the Crusaders would not get back to within one possession until Urule Igbavboa (Oakdale, Minn./Tartan) hit two shots from the charity stripe with two seconds to play. Johnathon Jones hit two free throws of his own after Igbavboa's makes to ice the game for Oakland.

Oakland jumped out to a five-point lead early in the ballgame, but a 11-0 run over a three-minute span gave the Crusaders a 15-9 lead at the 12:52 mark. The Golden Grizzlies cut the lead down to two with 5:45 left in the half at 19-17, but Valpo put together a 9-0 run to extend the margin to double digits for the first time. The Crusaders could not maintain that margin into the half, however, as Severovas hit a shot with three seconds left in the half to cap a 10-2 spurt and cut Valpo's halftime lead to 30-27.

The Golden Grizzlies continued to chip away at the Crusader lead, taking the lead back with 17:27 to play in the game. McPherson hit a 3-pointer with 14:54 to play to re-take the lead for Valpo, but the Golden Grizzlies clawed back out in front just over a minute later. Oakland would maintain the lead until Haanpaa started connecting on 3-pointers for the Crusaders, with his third one tying the game at 60 with 5:16 to play.

Derick Nelson answered with a triple of his own for Oakland, and after the two teams traded buckets, McPherson and Igbavboa hit back-to-back driving layups to give Valpo a 66-65 lead with 3:21 left. Kangas hit a jumper with 2:27 to play to give Oakland the 67-66 edge, but Igbavboa split a pair of free throws to tie the ballgame. Severovas followed with a layup on Oakland's next possession to set up the final sequence.

Igbavboa paced four Crusaders in double figures with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting while also grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. McPherson added 16 points for Valpo, while Haanpaa hit five triples for 15 points and Shawn Huff (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne) added 11 points. Haanpaa also grabbed eight rebounds for the Crusaders. Jake Diebler (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) led Valpo with four assists while committing just one turnover.

Shawn Hopes led the Golden Grizzlies with 22 points, with Severovas close behind at 21 points, including 11-of-13 makes from the stripe. Kangas added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, while Jones chipped in 13. Hopes led Oakland (9-9, 2-0 Mid-Con) with seven boards.

The Crusaders hit at a 55.8% (29-of-52) clip from the floor, their best shooting effort this season, but were plagued by 20 turnovers which Oakland turned into 21 points. Valpo connected on 9-of-23 (39.1%) 3-point attempts while holding the Golden Grizzlies to 6-of-18 (33.3%) shooting from behind the arc. Both teams hit nearly all of their free throws, with Oakland making 23-of-25 versus Valpo's 9-of-10 mark.

Valparaiso (6-10, 1-2 Mid-Con) looks to move back to .500 in conference play Saturday as the Crusaders play host to IUPUI. Opening tip is set for 7:05 p.m., 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). Both the audio webcast and video webcast will also be available at www.valpo.edu/athletics.
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
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo