Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Close Game at Home to Wright State
Ryan Broekhoff set a career high with 13 rebounds. (Ray Acevedo)
Ryan Broekhoff set a career high with 13 rebounds. (Ray Acevedo)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Valparaiso struggled shooting the ball from the floor Thursday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center, eventually falling in Horizon League action to Wright State, 75-71.

The first half saw the Crusaders unable to buy a bucket from anywhere on the court, as they ended the opening 20 minutes hitting just 32% from the floor while missing all nine of their attempts from behind the arc.  Meanwhile, the Raiders were on fire from downtown, hitting 7-of-11 (63.6%) from 3-point range in the first half.

Wright State put up a massive 18-2 run over a span of eight minutes in the middle portion of the half to take control.  The Raiders’ lead was as many as 15 points in the opening half, but Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]) hit a layup, and following a Tommy Kurth (Osceola, Ind./Penn) steal, Cameron Witt (Launceston, Tasmania, Australia/Launceston) hit a shot in the lane at the buzzer to send Valpo into the locker room down just 31-21.

“You have to give credit to Wright State, they are a very well-coached team and are one of the best teams in the league,” said Crusader head coach Homer Drew.  “We did not come out aggressively enough in the first half, especially defensively, allowing them to hit seven 3-pointers and get that big lead on us.”

Just as they had done in their previous two games, however, the Crusaders came out of the locker room and quickly erased a sizable halftime deficit.  This time, it was a 13-1 run that began with 16:30 to play, as Cory Johnson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]) kicked things off with a layup on a feed from Wood.  Johnson and Ryan Broekhoff (Frankston, Victoria, Australia/Australian Institute of Sport) each posted four points during the run, and when Brandon McPherson (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) connected on Valpo’s first 3-pointer of the game with 12:30 remaining, the Crusaders had gained a 40-39 advantage.

But Valpo would be unable to hold on, as Wright State claimed back the lead for good just over two minutes later on a 3-pointer by Vaughn Duggins.  The Crusaders hung within striking distance for the next five minutes, but a key four-point play by Duggins with 5:20 to play increased the Raider lead to eight points.  Wright State pushed the advantage to as many as 11 points with 2:43 remaining before Valpo went on a 14-6 spurt, capped by a long jumper by Howard Little (Chicago, Ill./Stoneridge [Calif.] School) with 11 seconds to play to move within three points.  But Broekhoff was called for a foul on a scramble for the loose ball on the ensuing inbounds, and Todd Brown hit a free throw to put things out of reach.

“I thought Duggins’ four-point play was really a critical moment in the game, giving [Wright State] a little extra cushion,” said Drew.  “I was pleased with the way we fought back early in the second half, and then again late, fouling and making shots to get back to within three points.”

Valpo, which entered the game leading the league in 3-point percentage, suffered through one of its worst shooting nights of the season from downtown, hitting just one of its first 14 from deep and ending the game at 4-of-22 (18.2%).  Wood led the Crusader effort with 18 points and nine rebounds, while McPherson scored 17 and Johnson 16.  Broekhoff set a new career best, leading all players with 13 rebounds.

Wright State (15-8, 8-4 Horizon), which moved into solo second place by virtue of its victory, was led by 18 points from N’Gai Evans.  Duggins added 17 points, while Brown scored 12 in the winning effort.

Valparaiso (11-13, 6-6 Horizon) faces another key Horizon League battle on Saturday afternoon as Detroit comes to the ARC for a 1 p.m. tip in the HLN Game of the Week, which can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  As always, the game can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network (WEFM, 95.9 FM, Michigan City; WAKE, 1500 AM, Valparaiso; WLPR, 89.1 FM, Merrillville) and can be seen on the Horizon League Network.  Valpo’s athletic website, www.valpoathletics.com, will have links for live audio, video and statistics.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
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
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
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 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 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 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
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
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