A balanced effort from all 11 active players on the Valparaiso men's basketball team led to the fourth-largest win in program history Sunday afternoon at the ARC, as the Crusaders defeated North Park by a 113-50 final.
The 63-point margin of victory was the second-largest since the move to Division I, trailing just a 70-point win over IU-South Bend in November of 2005. Meanwhile, the 113 points scored missed by just three points cracking the Crusaders' all-time top-10 single-game scoring outputs and were the most points scored by a Valpo team since a 118-83 victory against Chicago State in March of 1996.
The Crusaders ran their offense to perfection no matter which five were on the court on Sunday, shooting at a 70.2% clip from the floor (40-of-57), the best single-game shooting percentage in at least 20 years. The balanced offensive effort started with senior LaVonte Dority (Chicago, Ill./Foreman [USF]), both to begin the game as he knocked down 3-pointers on Valpo's first two possessions, as well as on the final stat sheet. Dority ended the night with a new career high of 21 points in just 17 minutes, going 7-of-8 from the field, including a 5-of-6 mark from behind the 3-point line.
Dority led five players in double figures for the Crusaders on Sunday. Freshman Clay Yeo (Bourbon, Ind./Triton) finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 21 minutes off the bench, while also handing out a team-best five assists. Senior Jordan Coleman (North Hollywood, Calif./Calabasas [Southwestern Ill. College/Hawai'i]) scored 14 points, including a pair of fast-break dunks. Fifth-year senior Bobby Capobianco (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland [Indiana]) registered 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in 17 minutes of action, while freshman Jubril Adekoya (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) knocked down all four of his field goal attempts en route to 11 points.
The Crusaders' starting lineup of Dority, Coleman, Capobianco, freshman Alec Peters (Washington, Ill./Washington) and fifth-year senior Moussa Gueye (Thies, Senegal/SEED Academy [Alabama/Lake Land (Ill.) College]) got Valpo off to a quick start on Sunday, out-scoring the Vikings 15-3 over the opening four-plus minutes. Then, coming out of the halftime break, at which point Valpo led by a 51-32 count, the starters put together a 16-5 run over the same amount of time to effectively put the game away.
Perhaps just as impressive as the performance of the Crusader starters was the way the quintet of Valpo players on the floor closed the game. The Crusaders ran a lineup of Adekoya, Peters, redshirt junior David Chadwick (Charlotte, N.C./Hargrave Military Academy [Rice]) and freshmen Lexus Williams (Chicago, Ill./Marist) and Nick Davidson (Merrillville, Ind./Andrean) stepped on the court together with 11:15 to play and out-scored North Park over the next three minutes, 10-4, a stretch which included Chadwick's first basket as a Crusader.
Then, Yeo subbed in for Peters with 8:08 to play and the same five players played the remainder of the game, holding the Vikings to just two points during a 17-2 run to close the contest. Davidson scored his first collegiate basket as part of an and-one during that stretch, the basket putting Valpo over the century mark with 5:23 to play.
Not to be overlooked was the Crusaders' defensive effort against North Park, a Division III school which played the game as an exhibition game. Valpo limited the Vikings to 27.9% shooting, including just five second-half field goals. The Crusaders tallied 10 blocked shots as a team, one off the school single-game record. Junior Vashil Fernandez (Kingston, Jamaica/Princeton Day [Md.] Academy) led the way with four rejections and also paced Valpo with eight rebounds.
Valparaiso (2-0) makes its first national television appearance of the season on Wednesday in its road opener, as the Crusaders travel to Champaign, Ill. to take on Big Ten foe Illinois. The 6:30 p.m. tipoff will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network. In addition, the game can be heard live on the Valpo Sports Radio Network, with links for the live audio and live stats available at ValpoAthletics.com.