A 21-4 run by #21/21 Purdue to close the first half proved to be too much for the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team to overcome at Mackey Arena on Thursday evening, as the Crusaders lost for the first time this season, falling to the Boilermakers, 80-50.
How It Happened
- Valpo forced misses from Purdue on each of its first five trips down the court and cleared the glass immediately following each one, but was unable to take full advantage. Senior Tevonn Walker (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College) knocked down a mid-range jumper on the Crusaders’ first possession, but Valpo would turn the ball over on each of the next four possessions.
- The two squads traded baskets early on, as it was 8-8 at the 13:30 mark following an inside basket from redshirt sophomore Derrik Smits (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville).
- Purdue would score the next seven points over a stretch of four minutes, but baskets by redshirt junior Joe Burton (Porter, Texas/Atascocita [Oklahoma State] and sophomore Jaume Sorolla (Tortosa, Spain/Sunrise Christian [Kan.] Academy) cut the deficit to 15-12 with 8:03 to go in the half.
- Purdue made eight of its next 12 field goals in the half-closing run, while the Crusaders were just 2-for-8 with five turnovers over the final eight minutes of the half as the Boilermakers led 36-16 at the break.
- Burton finished on the fast break while being fouled to cut the deficit to 18 one minute into the second half, but that was as close as Valpo would get the rest of the way.
Inside the Game
- Burton finished with his highest-scoring output in a Crusader uniform to date, scoring a game-high 19 points – including a 6-of-7 mark from the foul line – in 31 minutes of action.
- Walker joined Burton in double figures with 10 points, but no other Valpo player finished with more than six.
- The Crusaders were limited to just 33.3% shooting from the floor and were just 3-of-16 from the 3-point line while committing 18 turnovers.
- Valpo just missed holding the advantage on the glass over the Boilermakers, as Purdue ended the night with a slight 40-38 edge in rebounds. Sorolla paced all players with 10 rebounds – a season best and just two off his career high.
- The loss ends Valpo’s perfect start to the season at 8-0 – the third-best mark to start a year in program history.
- Valpo was one of the last nine unbeaten Division I teams in the country.
Valpo (8-1) continues its six-game road swing on Saturday afternoon from Muncie, as the Crusaders face Ball State – which enters the game coming off a win at top-10 Notre Dame. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT, and the game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso). Links for all the live coverage can be found at ValpoAthletics.com.