The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team rode the hot hand of senior Alec Peters (Washington, Ill./Washington) in the first half Saturday night at the ARC versus Indiana State, and then ran away from the Sycamores with a 20-0 run to start the second half en route to an 89-71 victory.
How It Happened
- Peters was a one-man wrecking crew in the first half for the Crusaders, going 7-of-11 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the foul line in the opening 20 minutes for 23 points. He reached double figures in scoring just 6:02 into the game, and secured the first-half double-double with his 10th rebound with 1:06 to play in the half.
- ISU claimed the early lead, but Valpo held the advantage for most of the first half. The Sycamores took advantage of a scoring drought by the Crusaders to pull ahead 25-23 with 7:36 left in the period.
- Valpo responded immediately, however, reeling off a 16-4 run over the next 5:20 to push its lead into double figures. Peters had 10 points during the spurt, including a layup to cap the run with 2:16 to play in the period.
- It looked like Valpo would carry a double-digit lead into the locker room, but a foul was called on a 3-point attempt for the Sycamores at the horn, and two made free throws cut the Crusader advantage to 41-33 at the intermission.
- Coming out of the locker room, it was all Valpo to start the second half. Over the opening 6:07, the Crusaders outscored ISU 20-0 to run out to a 28-point lead.
- Valpo scored on eight of its 11 possessions to start the half during the run, including five 3-pointers – two each from senior Shane Hammink (Millingen aan de Rijn, Netherlands/Oakley College [LSU]) and junior Tevonn Walker (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College) and one by Peters. Meanwhile, Indiana State went 0-for-9 from the floor and committed a pair of turnovers during the same stretch.
- The Sycamores had a small rally in them, scoring 10 of the next 11 points to close to within 62-43 with 11:56 to play. But the Crusaders answered with a 13-3 run over the next four minutes, capped by a Hammink hammer, to put the game away, as ISU would get no closer than the final margin.
Inside the Game
- Peters finished with 29 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds to lead all players. The double-double was his fifth of the season, while he finished with at least 20 points for the 11th straight game to open the year.
- Peters’ 23-point first half was the second-best effort of his career over the opening 20 minutes, topped only by a 25-point first half at Detroit last season. It was the highest-scoring first half by a Crusader at the ARC since Ryan Broekhoff dropped 26 first-half points against Bethune-Cookman in November of 2012.
- Hammink and Walker joined Peters in double figures on Saturday. Hammink went 5-of-9 from the floor and hit all four of his free throw attempts in a 16-point effort while handing out a team-best four assists. Walker needed just 21 minutes to pour in 15 points.
- Freshman Jaume Sorolla (Tortosa, Spain/Sunrise Christian [Kan.] Academy) nearly came up with a double-double in his second straight start. Sorolla scored eight points and set a new career best with 12 rebounds – five of which came on the offensive end.
- Sorolla and Peters nearly combined to out-rebound the Sycamores all by themselves, as Valpo finished with a 49-31 edge on the glass. The Crusaders converted 15 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.
- Valpo enjoyed its best effort from the 3-point line this season, hitting 11 of its 22 attempts from downtown. Five different players hit multiple triples.
- Everett Clemons scored a career-high 18 points to lead Indiana State (5-6), which defeated a top-25 Butler squad two games ago. Brenton Scott added 16 points as well. Clemons and Scott combined to go 12-of-20 from the floor, but the Crusaders limited the rest of the Sycamores to just 11-of-38 shooting.
The Crusaders (9-2) will look to go into Christmas on a winning note on Thursday evening, as they host Santa Clara at the ARC at 7 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, and heard live on the Valpo Sports Network (WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso; WVLP, 103.1 FM, Valparaiso). Links for the live coverage will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.