The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team erased a seven-point halftime deficit within the first two minutes of the second half Friday night in Rochester, Mich., but Oakland responded with a 19-4 run over the next four minutes as the Crusaders fell by a final score of 82-71.
How It Happened
- Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, as the Crusaders took a 10-6 lead over seven minutes into the game on a 3-pointer from senior Alec Peters (Washington, Ill./Washington).
- Oakland scored the next eight points, but Valpo answered with eight straight of its own – four from freshman Jaume Sorolla (Tortosa, Spain/Sunrise Christian [Kan.] Academy) – to re-gain a four-point lead.
- Oakland would put together a big run to earn its first double-figure lead of the game, going on an 18-2 spurt over a stretch of five-plus minutes.
- Trailing 34-22 inside of 90 seconds to play in the first half, the Crusaders scored the final five points of the half – courtesy of a layup from junior Max Joseph (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College) and a Peters 3-pointer – to cut the deficit to 34-27 at the break.
- The Crusaders wasted little time evening the game in the second half, scoring on each of its first three possessions of the period to tie the game at 34-34 with 18:13 to play.
- Oakland reeled off a 19-4 run over the next 4:16, however, to push its lead right back up into the mid-teens.
- Valpo made one more push around the midway point of the second half, as a layup by Peters was sandwiched by baskets from Sorolla in a quick 6-0 spurt which cut a 14-point deficit to eight with 8:26 remaining. But the Crusaders surrendered a second-chance 3-pointer on their next defensive trip and would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Inside the Game
- Peters paced Valpo on Friday with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting.
- The senior moved past Bryce Drew’s 1997-98 and 1996-97 seasons on Valpo’s single-season scoring chart, and now ranks fourth in Crusader history with 623 points this year. He also moved up to eighth on the single-season rebounding chart.
- Senior Shane Hammink (Millingen aan de Rijn, Netherlands/Oakley College [LSU]) chipped in 15 points and five rebounds.
- Sorolla set a new career high with 14 points on Friday, hitting 5-of-6 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the foul line. The freshman also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.
- The Crusaders finished the game just 6-of-21 from 3-point range and just 7-of-12 from the foul line.
- Martez Walker led Oakland (20-7, 10-4 Horizon) with 23 points. The Golden Grizzlies hit 8-of-20 from the 3-point line and were 24-of-31 at the charity stripe.
Valparaiso (21-6, 11-3 Horizon) looks to earn a split of the trip on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. CT tip from Calihan Hall against Detroit Mercy. The game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, and as always, 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.